UKHospitality Cymru has urged the Welsh government to find a “new and potent cash cocktail of financial support” to help the hospitality sector survive.
The plea comes hours before first minister Mark Drakeford is set to give an updated coronavirus briefing regarding the level of infection rates today (Friday 22 January).
While the next review of the lockdown restrictions is not expected until 29 January, David Chapman executive director at UKHospitality Cymru has asked Welsh officials to help extend Business Rates relief – a lifeline which is set to end in early April.
Since 20 December, Wales has been under a national lockdown meaning pubs, restaurants and other hospitality services have only been able to trade as a takeaway service.
Chapman said: “The Welsh Government has worked with us to define and deliver sector specific help which, with the crucial contributions of furlough, business rates relief and VAT cuts from Westminster, has kept many of our businesses alive.
“However, our current sector help here in Wales only covered businesses until January 21 and all the signs are next week’s Government three-week review will continue lockdown.”
He added: “It is possible we will face enforced closures or very limited trading possibly to Easter and even beyond, and with vital Westminster help running out, a serious financial cliff edge is looming large on the horizon.
“We need a further protected and ring-fenced sector specific fund in Wales that can extend existing assistance and, in particular, this should focus on our businesses that provide jobs to local people.”