Following significant damage to businesses caused by flooding following storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge, FSB Wales has been working closely with the First Minister and Welsh Government in order to develop a package of support for small firms dealing with the clean-up. It has now been announced that Welsh Government will provide flood-affected businesses with a £2,500 grant to help recover from the damage, as well as funding discretionary business rates relief for three months.
Responding to the announcement, Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair, said:
“Businesses across South Wales will warmly welcome the news that Welsh Government will provide financial support for flood-affected firms, as well as instigating business rates relief, and at FSB we are heartened to see that Welsh Government has listened to our recommendations to support business at this time.
“This will not only act as significant financial support for businesses, but will help raise morale and boost confidence for those businesses that are currently trying to get back on their feet and get their doors open again.
“We now know that the flooding has had a serious impact on businesses, with some expecting to be closed for several months. Smaller firms are often at the heart of their communities, and when they are forced to close this can have a significant impact on the local area and economy. Therefore, we would encourage people to look out for businesses reopening in the coming weeks and months, and to support them with their custom wherever possible.
“In the short term, we’d like to see more detail from Welsh Government on how firms can access this funding, to ensure that it can be distributed as quickly as possible and begin to have an impact on flood-affected firms. However, in the longer term, it is clear that a conversation about Wales’ resilience and flood infrastructure is necessary. We must also take into account the readiness of businesses to deal with such a crisis, and how they can be supported to implement planning structures in the future.”