New financial support has been announced to support businesses in Wales that will be badly affected by the country entering a lockdown under Alert Level 4.
It was announced earlier this week that Wales will enter a new stay at home lockdown from 28 December. Non-essential retail outlets, close contact services and all leisure and fitness centres will have to close from the end of trading on 24 December. All hospitality premises will also have to close from 6pm on 25 December.
Mental Health & Wellbeing Minister Eluned Morgan said that there is now a ‘very serious’ situation in Wales in regards to the pandemic, saying on Friday that 1 in 5 people getting tested for Coronavirus in Wales are receiving a test result of ‘positive’.
An additional £110m is being made available to support businesses affected by the Alert Level Four restrictions in Wales, which will come into force next week.
Businesses in the hospitality and non-essential retail sector which are impacted by the new restrictions and receive small business rates relief will be eligible for a support payment;
- Such businesses with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will be eligible for a £3,000 payment.
- Such businesses with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £150,000 will be eligible for a £5,000 payment. Tourism, leisure, retail and supply chain businesses in the same rateable value bracket will also be eligible for this support in the case that their turnover has fallen by 40% or more during the period of restrictions.
Businesses which are not eligible for non-domestic rates will still be able to apply to local authorities for a Lockdown Discretionary Grant of up to £2,000 of financial support,.
Economy Minister Ken Skates said:
“This latest package is in addition to the £340m for businesses we announced at the end of November, taking our total package of business support during this pandemic to more than £2bn.
“Our financial assistance has already helped protect thousands of companies and safeguarded 125,000 jobs. We are working hard to get funds out to businesses quickly as possible and in the last two weeks alone, almost £20m has landed in the bank accounts of our businesses.
“The vital additional support being announced today will be administered by local authorities and the Welsh Local Government Association and I want to thank them for their ongoing hard work and efforts to ensure money reaches businesses quickly.”
Eluned Morgan, who announced the new support said that she expects “around 35,500 businesses in Wales” will benefit from the new support being offered.