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Welsh Government announces further business funding

Vaughan Gething

BUSINESSES in Wales that continue to be affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions will receive up to £25,000 of additional support from the Welsh Government, Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, announced on Wednesday, June 30.
The emergency package of support will cover the operating costs for July and August 2021 of businesses required to remain closed and who remain severely affected by the restrictions’ continuation.
Eligible businesses in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors and their supply chains who continue to be severely impacted by restrictions, such as travel agents, attractions limited by social distancing and venues for school visits, will also be eligible to apply for support.
Speaking on Wednesday, Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “To support businesses further, I am today announcing additional support to help cover the costs of those businesses in Wales that need to remain closed or remain significantly impacted by Wales’s staged transition to alert level 1, which was made necessary by the risks posed by the delta variant.
“Eligible businesses will be entitled to an additional payment of between £1,000 and £25,000, depending on their size, structure and circumstance, to cover the period up to the end of August.”
To qualify for support, businesses must show their turnover has reduced by more than 60% compared to the corresponding timeline in 2019 or equivalent. All eligible businesses will need to apply for the funding.  
An eligibility checker will open on the Business Wales website on July 5, which will allow businesses to check their eligibility for the support and the amount of support they are eligible to apply for, which will help them to start preparing their applications.
The fund will open to applications from Tuesday, July 13, and will remain open for ten days before closing on Friday, July 23.
The Welsh Government envisages this will be the final package of emergency support for those businesses that are able to trade, based on the current level of COVID-19 restrictions.
Should new restrictions be required in response to a new variant or other emerging developments, Ministers will review the need for additional support.
Beyond the emergency phase, should the situation allow, the Welsh Government also intends to deliver a Business Development and Recovery Fund, designed to support businesses with match funding to relaunch, develop and grow following the potential further relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions. That funding will be subject, however, to the priorities set out in the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government.
Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for the Economy, Luke Fletcher MS said: “The continued support for Welsh business is to be welcomed, and we share the government’s hope that this will be the final package of support. However, if things take a turn for the worse, we hope to see Welsh Government step in.
“There’s also a need for UK Government to begin to rethink its approach to furlough – if this scheme is to be drawn to a close, then a job retention bonus should be implemented.
“While it’s right to have hope, we’re not out of the woods yet.”
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for the Economy, Paul Davies MS said: “Any additional support for Welsh businesses is welcome but it is once again regrettable that such a statement is given to the press before the Welsh Parliament.
“It’s vital this money makes its way to firms as quickly as possible so Welsh jobs can be protected.
“As we’ve seen with previous business support announcements, the devil is always in the detail, and the minister should address Parliament today to outline the size of the support, the qualifying criteria and his plans for a recovery fund.
“With the vaccine protecting more and more lives each and every day, it’s important the Labour-run Welsh Government now provides a detailed timeline out of restrictions as we’ve seen in Scotland and England so businesses can recover from the toughest period they’ve ever experienced.”