Concern for many Ceredigion businesses as new support measures announced for local lockdown areas only


Ben Lake MP has called on the UK Government to ensure that support is given to all businesses impacted by local lockdown restrictions. 

On Friday, the UK Chancellor announced that businesses forced to close due to new restrictions will be eligible for grants to pay up to 67% of employees’ salary, but the only businesses able to claim the grant will be those that are directly subjected to lockdown restrictions.  

During the Treasury Statement in the House of Commons last week, Ben Lake MP asked the Minister “what considerations have been given to the impact of local lockdowns on businesses and supply chains located beyond the lockdown areas?” and “what support will be made available to businesses that are materially impacted by restrictions imposed elsewhere?”. 

Ben Lake MP said: 

“The impact on business is not constrained to those areas most acutely affected by the virus; there is a wider displacement effect on businesses. I have met with many business owners in Ceredigion in recent weeks, particularly in the hospitality sector, who can already see the impact of the local lockdowns on their trade.” 

Ian Kimber is the owner and manager of Mantle Brewery, a small micro brewery in Cardigan. Mr Kimber said:

"It is very clear that this winter is going to be a massive struggle for the pubs and restaurants now that outdoor seating is no longer an option for most venues. The difference in trade this last two weeks already paints a bleak outlook for our cask sales as we press on through winter. 

"I am concerned that as things progress and potentially get worse, that as a brewery we are in a bit of a grey area. We are not a hospitality business and it is unlikely we would be forced to close our doors, however most of our trade is directly linked to hospitality. If in future there are more extreme measures implemented to limit the spread of the coronavirus, and if the hospitality industry is restricted further, there is a chance that businesses like ours could be left out of any help packages that arise." 

Mr Lake added: 

While the most recent support measures go some way to limiting the damage to businesses, many sectors, including the arts and events sector, and those businesses in the hospitality supply chain, are still in a very precarious position, particularly with regard to extra restrictions being considered now.” 

“The UK Government must take every step to protect livelihoods. This must include lifting the Welsh Government’s borrowing cap so we can afford greater support for Welsh businesses and local authorities to help our communities through these difficult times.” 

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