The Welsh Government is to receive £227m as part of a financial package outlined yesterday (5 January) by Chancellor Rishi Sunak that will see hospitality businesses in England receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000.
UKHospitality Cymru says the Welsh Government should use the cash to provide emergency backing for the threatened hospitality businesses and jobs in Wales that need it most.
Hospitality venues in Wales, which have faced significant restrictions of some form since mid-October, were ordered to close again last month in the run up to Christmas when the country re-entered lockdown for a third time.
Currently there is no definitive time frame available as to when restaurants and pubs across the country will get the green light to reopen.
"[The] Treasury's announcement recognises that our beleaguered businesses are once again forced to close for a precarious third lockdown period," says UKHospitality Cymru executive director David Chapman.
“Until now UKHospitality Cymru's appeals for survival funding have been positively listened to by Welsh Government. Now we need to see the consequential payments in Wales allocated to our industry in full and, critically, getting to the key businesses and the supply chains they sustain.
“They need this help desperately. While furlough has been vital, it has also meant larger hospitality employers have had to pay 20 per cent of wages for months of enforced closure. Reserves are gone, borrowing is high and the future is perilous.
“Substantial investment now would yield major returns for the economy when conditions improve. Let’s also keep our eyes on the future and build together a spring springboard for strategic recovery, for the hospitality industry’s survival, reopening, protection, growth and future prosperity in 2021 and the years to come.
“Put hospitality at the heart of Wales’ economic recovery. Make our industry one of the five new shining beacons of the Wales economy. Give us the status and the supportive investment that the industry needs to build.”