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Your Network of Opportunity

News for the Tourism Industry in Wales

Monday, 28 September 2020
Posted by Blaenau Gwent

News for the Tourism Industry in Wales

£140m to support Welsh businesses

The Welsh Government is making an additional £140m available to businesses to help them deal with the economic challenges of COVID-19 and the UK’s impending exit from the EU, Economy Minister Ken Skates has announced.
The funding from the third phase of the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) will see wider support being provided to secure jobs and help businesses develop, as well as additional help for firms affected by local lockdowns.
To date, the ERF has delivered almost £300m of support to more than 13,000 companies in Wales. This has helped to protect in excess of 100,000 jobs which might otherwise have been lost.
This new phase of the ERF will £80m being made available to support businesses with projects that can help them transition to the economy of tomorrow. It will require co-investment from companies and a clear plan about how they will adjust to the post-covid economy.
Of this, £20m will be ring fenced to support tourism and hospitality businesses* who are facing particular challenges as they enter the winter months. 
Meanwhile an additional £60m will be allocated to support businesses impacted by local lockdown restrictions. 
The rest of the funding will be used flexibly to provide additional support, for example to increase lending to Welsh businesses through Development Bank of Wales initiatives and to help companies deal with the impacts of the UK leaving the European Union.
The ERF has been designed to complement and build on the support offered by the UK Government.
The £80m worth of business development grants will be open to micro businesses, SMEs and large businesses. 
Micro businesses (employing between 1 and 9 people) will be able to apply for up to £10k on the condition they match this with their own investment of at least 10%.  
SMEs (employing between 10 and 249 people) will be able to apply for up to £150K on the condition they match this with their own investment of at least 10% for small business (1-49 staff) and 20% for medium sized (50-249) business.
Large businesses (employing 250+ people) will be able to apply for up to £250K on the condition they match this with their own investment of at least 50%.  
Companies that received grant funding through phases one and two of the ERF, or Non-Domestic Rate linked support, could also be eligible for phase three of the ERF.
The Eligibility Checker for companies to find out if they can access funding from the third phase of the ERF will be live during week commencing 5 October.
Read the announcement in full on Gov.Wales
*The specific criteria for the tourism scheme will be announced very shortly and communicated in this newsletter and on our social channels. 
Further local coronavirus restrictions introduced to control rises in South Wales
Coronavirus laws are being further tightened in Neath Port Talbot, the Vale of Glamorgan and Torfaen in response to a growing spread of cases, First Minister Mark Drakeford, has confirmed.
Local restrictions will come into force from 6pm Monday 28 September.
The restrictions, which will apply to everyone living in Neath Port Talbot, Vale of Glamorgan and Torfaen are:
People will not be allowed to enter or leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education;
People will only be able to meet people they don’t live with outdoors for the time being. They will not be able to form, or be in, extended households (sometimes known as ‘bubbles’). This means meeting indoors (in people’s houses, in a pub or elsewhere) with anyone you don’t live with is not allowed at the moment unless you have a good reason, such as providing care to a vulnerable person.
All licensed premises have to stop serving alcohol at 10pm.
Everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in indoor places, which are open to the public, such as shops, as well as on public transport – as is the case in the rest of Wales. (There are some limited exemptions for people with disabilities and medical conditions – these are the same as for public transport).
Local restrictions are already in place in seven other areas of South Wales – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly borough, Llanelli in Carmarthenshire, Merthyr Tydfil borough, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Newport.
Restrictions come into force in Cardiff and Swansea at 6pm Sunday 27 September.
Much of South Wales is now covered by local restrictions – although the restrictions are the same in each local authority, it does not mean people from one local area under local restrictions can travel to another area under local restrictions without a reasonable excuse, such as travelling for work or education.
All local restrictions measures will be kept under regular review. They will be enforced by local authorities and by the police.
The Welsh Government is continuing to keep a close watch on the situation in North Wales – cases overall are much lower than in South Wales, but there is evidence coronavirus is increasing in some parts of the region.
Read the announcement in full on Gov.Wales.
Local lockdowns – frequently asked questions
Please see the FAQs on local lockdowns – they include queries that will be particularly applicable to visitors and accommodation operators e.g. 
I am not a resident of the [local health protection] area but I am currently in the area – do I now need to leave urgently?
If you do not have a good reason (a “reasonable excuse”) to stay in the area, you should leave as soon as practicable.
If you do have a reasonable excuse to stay, then while you are in the [local health protection] area, you should follow the local restrictions in place and limit your interactions with others as much as possible.
Once you have left the area, please be cautious about interacting with other people and be aware of any potential symptoms of coronavirus.
Visitors from areas with higher incidence of coronavirus
There is Welsh Government guidance available on taking all reasonable measures to minimise risk to exposure of Coronavirus and this includes detail relating to visitors to accommodation and other businesses.
New measures introduced for hospitality businesses - questions and answers
All licensed premises in Wales are no longer allowed to serve alcohol after 10pm, and must close by 10.20pm.  Licensed premises now have to provide table service only. Off-licences, including supermarkets and convenience stores, also have to stop selling alcohol at 10pm. Online deliveries made by supermarkets and take-away delivery services will be permitted after 10pm but must not include alcohol.
The new measures are part of a package of co-ordinated actions to control the spread of coronavirus, which are being introduced across the UK and came into force in Wales at 6pm on 23 September and a detailed list of frequently asked questions is available.
You can read the measures announced by the First Minister in our News Bulletin.  Further details on the restrictions were outlined at the First Minister’s press conference on 23 September – view online here.
Stay up to date with tourism industry news
We are committed to providing the support and assurance the business community needs during these unprecedented difficult times and have issued several Coronavirus (COVID-19) related bulletins which can be found on the Tourism Industry Coronavirus (COVID-19) Bulletins page.


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