News Bulletin: Economy Minister confirms further Welsh Government support for businesses impacted by COVID restrictions; Full business rates discount continues in Wales

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30 June 2021


Economy Minister confirms further Welsh Government support for businesses impacted by COVID restrictions

Businesses in Wales that continue to be affected by Covid restrictions will receive up to £25,000 of additional support from the Welsh Government, Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, announced today.

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 impacted as a result of the continuation of the restrictions.

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.

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said:

“Since the start of the pandemic, we have pulled every lever we can to back Welsh businesses.

“We’ve provided in excess of £2.5bn funding to Welsh businesses, in a package that has been designed to complement and build on the support provided by the UK Government. We’ve also extended our 100% business rate relief package until the end of this financial year. This targeted approach, focussed particularly on backing small businesses and Welsh communities, has helped protect in excess of 160,000 Welsh jobs which might otherwise have been lost.

“To support businesses further, I am today announcing additional support to help cover the costs of those business in Wales that need to remain closed, or remain significantly impacted by Wales’ staged transition to Alert Level One, which was made necessary by the risks posed by the delta variant.

“This Welsh Government is determined to do all we can to support Welsh businesses during these incredibly difficult times.”

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 the 5 of July, 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 13 July 2021, and will remain open for a 2 week period, closing on Friday 23 July 2021.

The Welsh Government envisages this will be the final package of emergency  support for those business that are able to trade, based on the current level of Covid 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 restrictions. This will be fully aligned with the priorities set out in the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government.


Full business rates discount continues in Wales

The Welsh Government is reminding retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in Wales they won’t have to pay any rates until April 2022 as full discounts in England come to an end tomorrow (1 July).

In March, the UK Government announced its 100 per cent retail, leisure and hospitality rates relief holiday would reduce on June 30, with a 66 per cent discount coming into effect for the rest of the financial year.

In Wales, the Welsh Government has extended the full 100 per cent discount for all businesses and charities in the leisure and hospitality sectors until April 2022. Retailers in properties with a rateable value of up to £500k will also continue to receive full discounts on their rates for the remainder of the year.

The £380m package is providing small and medium sized businesses in Wales struggling to cope with the impacts of the pandemic a much-needed boost. It operates in addition to our permanent relief schemes which are providing £240m of relief to ratepayers across Wales this year.

Minister for Finance and Local Government, Rebecca Evans said:

“As bills start to land in England, we’re reminding retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in Wales they won’t need to pay rates until April 2022.

“We’ve listened to the sectors and want to help shops and venues get back on their feet. Even though these businesses can now open, the difficulties of the last year, coupled with the restrictions that remain in place, mean many would still struggle to pay even some of their usual rates.”

Minister for the Economy, Vaughan Gething said:

“Our 100% rates relief discount is a vital part of the economic support package we’ve made available to help businesses across Wales, giving them the breathing space they need to focus on recovery.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve backed Welsh businesses with £2.5bn in support, which has helped protect in excess of 160,000 Welsh jobs which might otherwise have been lost.

“We will continue to do all we can to back Welsh businesses.”

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.