THE Welsh Government has today announced a further £30 million for hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses affected by ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
It has also confirmed that pending the outcome of the next review on 12 March, a further £150 million in grants could be made available to firms, including micro businesses, through the Welsh Government’s Non Domestic Rates (NDR) scheme if coronavirus restrictions are extended.
The latest round of the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund will see £30m of targeted support being made available to support small, medium and large businesses in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors as well as related supply chain businesses.
The funding is targeted to businesses employing ten or more staff in recognition of the relatively higher level of operating costs that these businesses face.
However, should restrictions be extended at the 12 March review, the £150m that will be made available would see businesses in the hospitality, tourism, leisure and non-essential retail sectors that pay non-domestic rates receiving an additional payment of up to £5k regardless of the number of employees they have.
From today, businesses in the hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors can access the eligibility checker and calculator on the Business Wales website to help them work out what support they can expect to qualify for in this latest round and to understand the detail they will need to make an application.
Minister for the Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, said: “This last year has been incredibly difficult for everyone and we are aware of the significant challenges facing our fantastic hospitality, tourism and leisure sector.
“The focus of this latest £30m round of funding is to target further support at the small, medium and large businesses in these sectors with the specific aim of protecting as many jobs as possible.
“The Welsh Government’s support to businesses throughout the pandemic has been the most generous anywhere in the UK and I am pleased that we have been able to get over £1.9bn directly into the bank accounts of our businesses.
“With restrictions likely to continue for a little while longer we are actively reviewing our options for providing further support. I am pleased to confirm that we have now made provision for a further £150m of support for businesses paying non-domestic rates should restrictions be extended at the next coronavirus review on 12th March which would include support for micro businesses.”
Minister for Finance, Rebecca Evans, said: “The pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors and the people it employs.
“This new fund, and our provision of additional funding should restrictions be extended, responds to the latest phase of the pandemic and signifies our continued commitment to the sector, helping them to survive the toughest of times until they are in a position to safely reopen their doors again.”
Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality (UKH) welcomed the latest Welsh Government grants package for the industry: “Welsh Government has again listened directly to our constructive proposals for more vital support and the new money will play a leading part in continuing to save local jobs and local businesses until March 31 in communities right across Wales while lockdown persists.”