Wales’ largest business organisation FSB Wales (Federation of Small Businesses) has today welcomed the details of the new funding package announced by Minister for Economy Vaughan Gething for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses affected by the impact of the new Omicron Coronavirus variant and measures announced lately by Welsh Government.
Within the package, businesses which pay Non-Domestic Rates will be entitled to a payment of £2,000, £4,000 or £6,000 depending on their rateable value. In addition, affected businesses and crucially, their supply chains, will also be able to apply for top-up funding from new grants of between £2,500k - £25,000 with grants dependant on their size and number of employees. Funding will also be made available to businesses which don’t pay rates including grants of £500 to sole traders and freelancers and £2,000 to employing businesses in impacted sectors.
Speaking following the announcement, Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair stated:
“The past few weeks have been deeply concerning for so many businesses across Wales and this funding will go some way to provide a cushion for those businesses facing very uncertain times. FSB has been in daily contact with Welsh Government Ministers and officials in the past two weeks outlining these concerns and making the case for funding support for businesses. We’re pleased that the Minister for Economy has listened to our case for this funding, and particularly the inclusion of support for retail, supply chain businesses as well as sole traders which have similarly been affected. This support comes alongside other welcome support from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak including the return of the Covid Statutory Sick Pay Rebate, for which FSB has been lately campaigning.
There is undoubtedly uncertainty about the road ahead through this latest crisis and into what will hopefully be brighter times of economic recovery. It may well be that yet more support will be required if we are to minimise the impact of Omicron on the Welsh economy and our communities. Welsh Government must help businesses plot a way through this crisis and when circumstances allow, government will need to articulate how and when restrictions will be lifted to allow businesses the best opportunity to return to full trading capacity.
However, we are grateful that the Minister and his officials have maintained an open dialogue with FSB over recent weeks and we will continue that to inform Welsh Government’s decision making to ensure that the needs of businesses are represented”.