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Saturday, October 10, 2020

County demands urgent support for businesses in local restriction areas

Denbighshire County Council has called on Welsh Government for an urgent update on the £60 million lockdown fund being made available to support businesses in Wales affected by the impact of local restrictions due to covid.  

Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, who is also the Cabinet Lead Member for the Economy has written to Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales this week, expressing his concern that local authorities have still not received guidance and application forms for this funding which could help businesses in areas affected by local restrictions.

The council has called on Welsh Government to be more innovative in its approach to businesses during lockdown and to extend the exemptions to allow certain businesses to survive, to consider how it can provide practical support and reduce dependency on public funding.   

As a number of Denbighshire businesses are under pressure, the council has also called for a debate on how the economy can survive whilst the battle against covid continues.

Councillor Evans said: “We fully recognise the need for the restrictions in our counties due to the increasing numbers of coronavirus cases and have worked closely with Welsh Government and Public Health Wales to implement the local restrictions.

“However, we have received many messages from businesses who have been severely disrupted by the decision and the funding pot for areas under restriction could assist businesses affected.

“However, for local authorities to implement such funding schemes successfully we need clear guidance issued in a timely manner, together with the date that applications for funding can be made so we can inform and offer support to businesses.

“There is also concern that as the grant is thought to be based on a first come first serve basis, and that the figures being talked about would not cover all those businesses that satisfy the basic eligibility criteria.

“We’re also concerned that businesses who may have issues in completing the application forms will simply miss out because of timing.

“This could be perceived as unfair and unsupportive of all businesses."

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