Bring forward a plan to help local businesses says MS

January 20, 2022 - 236 views

Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has urged Welsh Government to bring forward a positive, long-term plan so that local businesses and communities in Conwy can rebuild and prosper. 

She used her contribution in a recent debate to request further assistance to those businesses impacted by the Omicron restrictions.

Mrs. Finch-Saunders clinched a commitment from the First Minister to “look at the specific issue” of funding criteria for self-catering accommodation properties.

At present, businesses will not be eligible for the grant support on offer unless the self-catering property is for 30 people or more, or the self-catering accommodation is classed as an outdoor education centre. Local authorities currently have no discretionary powers surrounding this decision. 

Commenting on the matter, she claimed:  “Sadly, Wales remains an outlier when it comes to public health policy. Despite the detailed scientific evidence from South Africa, it remains a central concern of many businesses that Welsh Government Ministers overreacted to Omicron, causing significant pain and anguish.  

“The currently proposed timeline means that our indoor hospitality businesses will have another two weeks of restrictions, driving the Welsh pound across the border to England as we saw on New Year’s Eve.

"The Chief Executive of the Welsh Beer and Pub Association has estimated that, on average, pubs have lost £16,000 each over the current period of restrictions. 

“A wave of cancellations continues to bite into the viability of our hospitality and tourism sectors. Whilst it is understandable that consumer behaviour has changed, the unprecedented strain being felt by businesses is putting livelihoods and employment opportunities at risk. 

“This is why I have urged the Welsh Government to look to make more money available for the businesses that have suffered due to their Omicron response, particularly as the UK Government provided an additional £270 million in December which was on top of the amount announced at the Autumn Budget.”

Speaking after confirmation that over 1.8 million booster and third doses have been administered in Wales, she said that “now is the time to boost the confidence of businesses and the public after two years of restrictions.”