The UK Government yesterday (March 16) released another £250 million to Wales to shore up businesses against the likely impacts of Covid-19 (Coronavirus). With the £225m released specifically for this in last week’s Budget, the total stands at £475m.


The funds are intended to be targeted at the small retail, leisure, and hospitality sectors. Business rates are devolved in Wales and the Welsh Government has been under pressure to match commitments in England to suspend business rates for many small businesses for a year during this outbreak of Coronavirus.


Russell George AM – the Shadow Minister for Economy – today welcomed news from the Welsh Government’s Finance Minister that it is releasing some £200m to the small retail, leisure, and hospitality sectors in line with the commitments made in England.


He said:


“We are still in the very early stages of this outbreak, and Welsh Conservatives welcome the step taken today, which must be seen in the context of the full £475m given to combat the effects on the SME sector of Coronavirus.


“Of course, we shall still scrutinise how these funds are allocated and would expect them to be targeted at mitigating the effects of Coronavirus on the SME sector.”