Neil Hamilton MS, has welcomed news of more help for businesses in Wales affected by the pandemic.
Mr Hamilton, a member of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs committee, was commenting after further details were revealed about the £200 million support for non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses.
“As Covid-19 restrictions continue to affect all our lives during these extremely challenging times, it is more important than ever that support is available to help all our industries, particularly in these sectors.
“The hospitality and tourism industry, the lifeblood of much of rural Wales, has borne the brunt of restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak. They need and deserve major financial help to make sure they can bounce back in the future.
“Draconian measures taken by Welsh Government have had a punishing affect for months nowand left thousands of people who depend on this sector for their livelihood desperately struggling to survive. Without serious help, their future is precarious and, therefore, I welcome this announcement.
“Welsh Government must do everything they can to ensure that non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses can survive this pandemic and return to their former trading pattern without delay.”
The latest funding is linked to the non-domestic rates system and will operate as a top up to the Restrictions Business Fund which was put in place in early December and will help businesses with operational costs through to the end of March.
Businesses with a rateable value of £12,000 or under will be eligible to receive a payment of £3,000. Those with a rateable value between £12,001 and £150,000 will be eligible to receive a payment of £5,000.
Welsh Government is also extending the £5,000 grant through to businesses with a rateable value of up to £500,000.Supply chain businesses will be able to apply for support if they have had a reduction in turnover of more than 40%.
The combined package provides eligible businesses with an NDR rate of £12,000 or under with a £6,000 grant towards their operating costs, and an eligible business with an NDR rate of between £12,001 and £150,000 with a £10,000 payment.
A further £30 million is also being made available through the discretionary fund to provide up to £2,000 grants for businesses not on the non-domestic rates system.
Local authorities will again be administering and distributing these payments. Businesses which pay non-domestic rates and have already received a payment since the firebreak in October do not need to take action. However, those who have not registered with their local authority, should take action now to ensure they receive the financial support they are entitled to.