Welsh Government urged to provide greater support for businesses


In the three weeks since the UK and Welsh Governments announced support for small businesses and those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, staff from Ceredigion County Council have worked to administer the scheme and pay grants as quickly as possible. 

Their efforts have won praise from Ceredigion MP and AM who has thanked staff for their ‘fantastic effort’ to distribute the grants so efficiently.

Elin Jones AM said:

“I want to thank all of the staff involved for their fantastic efforts.

“I’d also like to thank the business owners involved for their patience and strength during what I know are trying times for all of them.”

Whilst the support announced by both UK and Welsh Governments has been broadly welcomed, many small businesses, sole traders and companies who rent their premises are still struggling to access any of the economic support schemes on offer.

The Welsh Government today has launched the application process for its Economic Resilience Fund, which aims to provide support to businesses with cash flow pressures, that are not addressed by previous schemes. However, it has become apparent that a number of businesses and sole traders that would expect to benefit from the new grant scheme for microbusinesses are deemed ineligible as they are not VAT registered. This will significantly limit the amount of businesses and sole traders in Ceredigion able to apply for funds.

Concerns have also been raised with Ben Lake and Elin Jones that businesses who have received Business Support Grants are unable to access any support from the Economic Resilience Fund. 

Ben Lake MP and Elin Jones AM have written to Ken Skates, Welsh Government Minister for the Economy urging him to consider expanding the criteria of the Economic Resilience Fund as soon as possible so that all businesses are able to apply for support.

Ben Lake MP said:

“Whilst I welcome the decision of the Welsh Government to establish the Economic Resilience Fund, it is disappointing that many businesses in my constituency won’t be able to benefit from the scheme as they are not VAT registered. 

“I have been contacted by several businesses and sole traders who are ineligible for the microbusiness strand of the Economic Resilience Fund and are fearful for the survival of their business. Businesses are on the precipice and for many there is no safety net without government support.

“We are urging Welsh Government to consider expanding the criteria for the fund so that all businesses in Ceredigion can receive the support that the Government has made clear it wishes them to receive.”

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