News Bulletin: £180m fund for Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism businesses opens tomorrow (Wednesday); New Covid vaccination strategy published

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12 January 2021

BW update

£180m fund for Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism businesses opens tomorrow (Wednesday)

The Welsh Government’s latest £180m Economic Resilience Fund package to support tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions will open for applications at 12pm on Wednesday 13 January. 

The funding, announced in December, is part of a live £450m package of support that the, hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors as well as their supply chain can access and will provide vital support to thousands of firms impacted by alert level 3 and 4 restrictions. The £180m is in addition to a £270m support package for businesses that pay non domestic rates, which includes non-essential retail businesses, and is being delivered via Local Authorities. 

The Welsh Government estimates that under the package of 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 in total, making it the most generous offer in the UK.

Economy Minister Ken Skates said: “Accelerating coronavirus rates meant we have had to make difficult but necessary decisions to protect people’s health and save lives. We know these decisions have a knock-on effect on our businesses and there is no doubt that latest restrictions mean very real challenges for firms who have already had to deal with so much.

“We are committed to doing all we can to protect our businesses during this very challenging time. Our package of support is the most generous in the UK and since the beginning of the pandemic more than £1.6bn of Welsh Government financial assistance has reached businesses.

“Many hospitality, tourism, leisure and non-essential retail businesses have already received payments of £3,000 or £5,000 in the last month and this additional funding will be absolutely crucial in supporting eligible businesses through the difficult weeks ahead.”

The amount a company can claim from the £180m sector specific fund will be calculated based on staff count and turnover. The fund is expected to support up to 8,000 hospitality, tourism and leisure firms impacted by the restrictions and potentially a further 2,000 in related supply chains. 

An eligibility checker and calculator has been live on Business Wales since December to help businesses work out what support they can expect to qualify for in total and the detail they will need to make an application. Further guidance was also issued last week. 

Since the end of October alone, more than 69,000 offers of support worth in excess of £230m have been made to businesses across Wales through the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund. 

Welsh Government support has already protected more than 125,000 jobs that might otherwise have been lost.

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 was not the Christmas period that any of us had hoped for, but I would urge businesses to take advantage of the help available. 

“We will continue to do everything we can to support our firms and our people through to the other side of this dreadful pandemic.”

Further information and details on how to make an application for the package of business support is available on the Business Wales website.  The fund will remain open for 2 weeks or until funds are fully committed.

New Covid vaccination strategy published

All eligible adults will be offered a Covid vaccine by the autumn, under ambitious plans published by the Welsh Government. 

It comes as the latest figures show more than 86,000 people have received the vaccine. Wales will now publish daily vaccine figures.

The COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy sets out three key milestones:

  • By mid-February – all care home residents and staff; frontline health and social care staff; everyone over 70 and everyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable will have been offered vaccination.
  • By the Spring – vaccination will have been offered to all the other phase one priority groups. This is everyone over 50 and everyone who is at-risk because they have an underlying health condition.
  • By the autumn – vaccination will have been offered to all other eligible adults in Wales, in line with any guidance issued by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

In total, around 2.5m people throughout Wales could be offered Covid vaccines by September, depending on further advice from the JCVI.

The strategy depends on sufficient and regular supplies of the vaccines being delivered. It will be kept under review in line with supply of the vaccine and any further advice from the JCVI.

Read the full announcement on Gov.Wales.

Useful COVID-19 information

As each premises is different, businesses should read all guidance. This continues to be updated so please check back regularly for the latest information.

Stay up to date with tourism industry news

We are committed to providing the support and assurance the business community needs during these unprecedented difficult times and have issued several Coronavirus (COVID-19) related bulletins which can be found on the Tourism Industry Coronavirus (COVID-19) Bulletins page. 

Business Wales is providing businesses with tailored support and advice about dealing with coronavirus, from financial and supply chain planning to advice on staffing issues. We would advise Tourism businesses and stakeholders in Wales wanting specific guidance to visit the Business Wales website or call Business Wales helpline on 03000 6 03000, and to regularly visit the Public Health Wales website for up-to-date public health information for you, your staff and your visitors.