Janet Finch-Saunders MS – the Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy – has today (14 October) spoken of her dismay at the revelation that applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis, as more details about the Welsh Government’s Local Lockdown Business Fund are released.
The purpose of the fund is to support businesses with cash flow support to help them survive the economic consequences of the local restrictions put in place in their local area. Businesses will be eligible to apply for this fund when their local area has been in lockdown for a minimum of 21 days. Businesses have been informed that they will have to “demonstrate a drop in turnover greater than 40% as a result of the local lockdown imposed as a result of Covid-19 to be eligible for these grants.”
Commenting on the announcement, Janet said:
“Having waited over two weeks for more details to be released, I am dismayed to find that the Local Lockdown Business Fund will operate only on a first come first served basis, with the Welsh Government openly admitting that this may lead to applications not being appraised after they have been submitted should the fund be fully committed.
“It is evident that Mark Drakeford’s administration has learnt nothing from mistakes made earlier this year, when grants faced an instant deluge of applications leading to needless confusion, errors and upset for many North Wales businesses owners. This cannot be allowed to happen again.
“Having looked further into the help offered by the Local Lockdown Business Fund, with grants offered of £1,000 or £1,500 to eligible businesses; it is clear that this equates to mere pennies when compared to what is needed to prevent local residents from losing their livelihoods.
“The Welsh Minister for Economy must also review the decision to enact a rateable value cap of £51,000. After all, Llandudno has a number of hotels which currently stand to be excluded from this essential monetary support if this cap is not removed.
“The Welsh Government drove our area into this economic lockdown crisis, so they need to set about offering the necessary financial support which would allow local businesses to survive and bridge this period.”
“Whilst Skates has been scribbling letters to businesses imploring them to help create a socialist utopia, he has lost touch with reality. Does he honestly believe that it is only businesses which have been in local lockdown for three weeks or more that need financial support?”