Welsh Liberal Democrats have today called for the creation of a Cross Party Economic Recovery Council for Wales to help Welsh businesses hit by the Covid pandemic move onto the next stage of their recovery.
Faced with yet more uncertainty many businesses admit they’re struggling and don’t know what do and say they need more than one off grants from the Welsh Government to survive the next few years.
The Cross Party Economic Recovery Panel would be chaired by the Economy Minister of the day and have representatives from all major parties as well as experts from businesses organisations as well as welsh academic experts.
Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds said:
“Covid has brought many Welsh businesses to their knees, especially small businesses and those across the hospitality sector.
“The Welsh and UK Governments have helped with one off grants and the furlough scheme, but for many businesses this has just kept them afloat. Many businesses are seeking ways to rebuild and renew themselves once it is safe to do so.
“I want the Welsh Government to listen to business, and to commit itself to action, so that business and Government can work together in the difficult times we face. I understand the constraints – especially financial - under which the Welsh Government operates, and I believe this should not be a matter of party politics. It is about listening to each other and working together to ensure that the Welsh Government’s resources are targeted in the most effective way.”
Sally Stephenson who runs a small business in Cowbridge and will contest the Senedd Vale of Glamorgan seat in May added:
“For most businesses life just won’t return to normal when the vaccine is rolled out, many have downsized, taken on extra debt or turned down significant orders. All this will take time to rebuild.
“Lots of businesses rely on seasonal trade either during the summer months, or in the run up to Christmas to see them through their quit periods. What businesses need is support and help over a sustained period in order to fully get back up and running and a guarantee that support will be there for several years to come.
“We need all parties to sit down with businesses and business leaders to discuss and a agree a sustainable and effective way forward.”
Jane's letter to Ken Skates can be read here.