Eligibility checker for hospitality, leisure and tourism fund goes live today – business rates grants to start being paid out
Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism businesses impacted by latest coronavirus restrictions can now find out how much they can expect to receive from the latest round of Welsh Government’s business support package.
A new eligibility checker and calculator will be live on the Welsh Government Business Wales website today to help businesses work out what support they can expect to qualify for. Guidance will also be available for firms to help them through the application process for the Sector Specific Fund which will open during the week of 11 January – you can view it all via businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/ from 10am.
Welsh Government recently announced £340 million to assist businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions which came into force on 4 December. The latest package includes a £160 million Restrictions Business Fund predominantly for businesses paying non domestic rates, and a £180 million grant fund specifically for impacted businesses in the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors.
Under this latest round of Welsh Government support a typical hospitality business in Wales with the equivalent of six full-time staff could be eligible to receive between £12,000 and £14,000 to help them through this period of restrictions and into the new year.
The £160 million Restrictions Business Fund will see impacted businesses that pay non-domestic rates within the hospitality, tourism, leisure, retail sectors and their supply chain qualifying for a one-off payment of between £3,000 and £5,000.
This week we queried with Welsh Government about when council’s will get the guidance to allow them to start sending out the grands, a spokesperson said: “We have developed the guidance with local authorities and this has now been issued. They are processing grants linked to priority hospitality businesses through the non-domestic rates system this month.”
Hospitality businesses that received non-domestic rates funding under the previous firebreak restrictions can expect this payment before Christmas. However, all other eligible businesses will need to register in the new year to receive their payment.
Impacted firms, including those not paying business rates, can also apply for a share of the £180 million Sector Specific Fund. This part of the package, which is calculated on a business’ staff count and turnover, is expected to support up to 8,000 businesses in sectors impacted by the restrictions and potentially a further 2,000 in related supply chains.
Minister for the Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, said: “We know how difficult the latest restrictions are for our hospitality businesses, particularly at this time of year, but accelerating coronavirus rates have meant we have had to make difficult decisions to protect people’s health and save lives.”
“Available evidence, including a recent paper by the UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) tells us that measures in Scotland’s level three and England’s tier three are effective in reducing virus spread. We have introduced this latest round of restrictions to bring us in line with Scotland level three and England tier 3.”
“Through this £340 million package of support we are working to directly assist hospitality businesses and to get financial support to them as quickly as possible. Many will receive between £3,000 and £5,000 this side of Christmas, and in addition can apply for a sector specific grant that will follow in the New Year.”
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: “We are fully aware, not least from our hospitality stakeholder group, of the impact of the restrictions that we have had to bring in.
“This is not the Christmas period that any of us wanted but I would urge businesses to take advantage of the help available and to use the calculator to find out how much help they can expect to receive so they can plan accordingly.
“We will continue to do everything we can to support our firms and our people through to the other side of this dreadful pandemic.
“This latest in Welsh Government funding is in addition to other UK Government support, such as the Job Retention Scheme, making it the most generous business support offer in the UK.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com