The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Wales has welcomed the announcement by Welsh Government of a timetable for the lifting of restriction measures which responds to FSB calls for clarity for businesses.
Responding to the latest statement from the First Minister following the Welsh Government’s Coronavirus review, Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair stated:
“FSB and our members appreciate the importance of keeping Wales safe, and the serious health implications of the Omicron variant. We fully recognise the challenges posed by the virus and the spread of the Omicron virus. Businesses in Wales have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to keep Wales safe and have diligently followed the guidance and advice placed forward by Welsh Government.
In return, the FSB has called on the First Minister to ensure businesses are fairly funded and informed of what lies ahead. We are pleased that our calls for clarity have now been recognised, with the First Minister’s announcement of a roadmap, which outlines a lessening of restrictions over the course of the next two weeks. This brings much needed clarity for businesses in Wales, who are facing an increasingly challenging economic landscape.
However, we remain concerned that as an important sector of our economy, hospitality has borne the brunt of the impact of these restrictions and continues to face a precarious situation. We call therefore on the Welsh Government to consider bringing forward the plans to remove the additional requirements on indoor hospitality to the 21st to release the pressure on these businesses. These are businesses which made a sacrifice to help Wales combat the threat of Omicron and have made a significant contribution to the success of the effort as outlined by the First Minister. We would ask that Welsh Government consider the reduction in the self-isolation period, bringing the regulations in line with England.
We are pleased to see that the numbers of cases are more favourable than previously expected and we hope to see this trend continue to allow our communities and economy to recover. However, Welsh Government will need to continue to ensure that appropriate support is in place over coming months to help embed recovery for our smaller businesses.
During this time, we would remind the Welsh public to continue to support smaller businesses, and show understanding to business owners and staff who will continue to work tirelessly to deliver safe environments for their customers and communities.”