A call is being made to the Welsh Government to review and increase the funding available for Welsh hospitality businesses.

It follows a 'devastating' month for the sector and its supply chain which has been hit by the Covid restrictions brought in before Christmas.

  • Nightclubs have been closed since Boxing Day
  • the 'rule of six' is in force in pubs, cinemas and restaurants
  • licensed premises can offer table service only
  • face masks will have to be worn and contact tracing details collected
  • and two-metre social distancing rules are in place.

The plea for extra support comes from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The organisations says that these businesses have reported a collapse in trade over recent weeks caused by significantly-reduced footfall and customer inhibition, along with the impact of the latest Covid measures in Wales.

Many businesses within the sector might normally have expected to make up to a quarter of their turnover over the festive period and the loss leaves businesses vulnerable and facing difficult decisions in an atmosphere of significant uncertainty. 

FSB Wales policy chair, Ben Francis said:

“The past month has been devastating for so many businesses within hospitality.

"The scale of loss reported by business owners is more significant than anticipated and it seems clear that - while the funding support announced last month was welcome - it may not be equal to the challenge.

"More funding will be required, as well as reconsideration of the criteria for funding to stave off the threat of job losses and secure the future of these businesses through this latest crisis."

Mr Francis added that there is also 'real concern' among businesses about a lack of clarity of what lies ahead.

"While a roadmap with clear milestones from Welsh Government through this crisis would be welcome, many businesses already face challenges in even getting around the next turn in the road ahead," he said.

He suggested that, because of this, the Welsh Government should now review its plans for the business rates holiday, maintaining it at 100 per cent for the coming financial year.

The UK Government should also reconsider the forthcoming rise in National Insurance contributions, he continued.

"Measures like these will give businesses headroom to move beyond this current crisis, into recovery.

"Businesses within the sector have been asked to sacrifice much to help combat the Omicron variant.

"It’s important that Welsh Government recognises that now by ensuring it does all it can to help business through the coming weeks and beyond”.