Posted: Mon 19th Oct 2020

Updated: Mon 19th Oct

Financial support will be available for businesses in Wales impacted by two week ‘fire break’ lockdown

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Financial support will be available for businesses in Wales impacted by two-week ‘fire break’ lockdown which has been announced today.

From 6pm on Friday, all non-food retail, hospitality businesses, including cafes, restaurants and pubs (unless they provide take-away or delivery services), close contact services, such as hairdressers and beauticians, and events and tourism businesses, such as hotels must close.

They will be able to reopen on Monday 9 November.

Mark Drakeford said:  “We are acutely aware of the impact that a circuit breaker period will have on businesses.”

“We will make sure that the full details of the package are available throughout this week, but I can confirm today that we have created an extra-economic resilience fund of almost £300 million pounds.”

“We know that businesses will need this support quickly to fund the first week of a firebreak, and we will work to get that money allocated as quickly as we can to those businesses who need it.”

“All businesses required to close will also be able to access the support available from the UK government through the existing job retention scheme or the new expanded job support scheme.”

“I understand the very real challenges that this presents for Welsh businesses, It is why I wrote to the Chancellor on Friday to ask him to give Welsh businesses early access to the new expanded job support scheme from Friday of this week.”

“It is only the UK government that has the financial power to guarantee the levels of income support workers need, and we need more generous payments to help workers through this crisis.”

Businesses affected by the firebreak will be supported with a new £300m fund, which will open next week:

  • Every business covered by the small business rates relief will receive a £1,000 payment.
  • Small and medium-sized retail, leisure and hospitality businesses, which have to close will receive a one-off payment of up to £5,000.
  • There will also be additional discretionary grants and support for smaller businesses, which are struggling.
  • The £80m fund announced last week to help businesses develop in the longer term, will be increased to £100m, which includes £20m ring-fenced for tourism and hospitality.

Businesses will also be able to access the support available through the existing Job Retention Scheme or the new expanded Job Support Scheme.

Mark Drakeford said: “It is with a heavy heart that I once again ask everyone to stay at home and businesses to shut.

“We are all tired of coronavirus and the many rules and regulations we all have to live with. We all want to see an end to this pandemic and our lives returned to us. Unfortunately, we do not yet have a vaccine, which will allow us to do that.”

“This fire-break is our best chance of regaining control of the virus and avoiding a much-longer – and damaging – national lockdown. We have a small window of opportunity to act.“

“To be successful, we need everyone’s help. Wales has shown throughout this pandemic that we can come together and take the actions to keep our families and our communities safe.”

“We must come together once again to stay ahead of this virus and to save lives.”

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