UKHospitality Cymru has welcomed the swift response by the Welsh Government to provide immediate substantial support for businesses that are being forced to endure devastating new restrictions and closures over the holiday period.
The Welsh Government has today announced new restrictions, coming into effect from Friday 4 December, that will see hospitality businesses forced to close by 6pm and unable to sell alcohol.
Following UKHC representations, the restrictions have been accompanied by a £340m package of support including an Economic Resilience Fund worth up to £150k per businesses, with hospitality and tourism businesses, and their supply chains, eligible.
UKHospitality Cymru Executive Director, David Chapman said, “Let’s be clear: at this time of year, when businesses can trade up to 25 per cent of annual turnover- and above- the new restrictions are a massive blow to hospitality in Wales as well as our loyal customers and workforce as we head towards Christmas and the New Year.
“We feel isolated and feel we are unjustly bearing the brunt of Government actions when retail and other areas are allowed to trade relatively unhindered.
“These businesses have been devastated all year, struggled to stay afloat in the face of diminished consumer confidence and stifling measures and, even with the financial support, this could be a hurdle too many.'
Chapman continued, “We can take some comfort from the swift response to our direct appeals for vital support by the financial support being offered by the Welsh Government, though. Such severe restrictions necessitated a similarly large package of support to offset the measures and ensure that businesses stay alive and jobs remain open. There are still losers in this package and some of our bigger hotels could still be in inadequately assisted.
“We pushed the Welsh Government very hard on this and they have listened. If they survive, these are businesses that can spearhead the recovery of the Welsh economy next year and beyond.
“We have been heard by Welsh Government on nightclubs along with wedding venues and event and conference centres. It’s a start for these and we will need much more to help keep more jobs open and make the job of recovery that bit easier.'
Chapman ended, “We are still waiting for the full information on the restrictions and package and there is still a long way to do before the sector is anywhere near to being out of the woods, but the quick and pragmatic approach to support being shown by the Welsh Government will give more businesses a better chance of making it through.”