The Welsh Conservative candidate for Aberconwy – Janet Finch-Saunders – has echoed calls from the hospitality and tourism industries by calling on the Welsh Government to provide the hospitality sector with targeted restart grants. The intervention follows concern by business owners that the devolved administration is ‘moving the goal posts’ on pledged financial support.
Indeed, the Welsh Government's Business Wales website now says the rates package is "designed to cover businesses until after election, pending the continued easement of restrictions and the outcome of restriction reviews in April". This runs contrary to the previous pledge, with a website archiving tool showing that on 14 March this year the page said the funding would "help businesses with their costs up to 31st March 2021".
Commenting, Janet said:
"The moving of the funding goalposts by Welsh Labour stands only as a further kick in the teeth to our small and medium sized businesses. Plainly put, the financial package for businesses' costs - originally until 31 March - will now not be enough to cover a longer period of time and puts Welsh jobs and businesses at risk. "Local businesses want to be empowered to trade and wish for Aberconwy to bounce back better. They have made clear that money is needed to restart rather than to redevelop. For this reason, the Welsh Government should urgently look at developing support packages to restart the economy, such a new Welsh Restart Grant. "As part of this work, I've repeatedly called on the Welsh Government to start organising assistance through national tourism bodies, so that they may play a bigger role in revitalising our visitor economy. Indeed, the likes of Visit Wales should look to provide a booking facility to ensure commission free support is given to our accommodation businesses."