The coronavirus pandemic has shone a spotlight on the best of society - from the countless acts of compassion and volunteerism in our local communities, to the selfless public service of our admired NHS and key workers.
But the events of the past few months have also highlighted the fragility of the Welsh economy.
Now, more than ever, we require a relentless focus from the Welsh Government on growing the economy and backing small, local businesses.
With the devastating effects of Covid-19 continuing to take hold, it’s more important than ever that we back business and support local jobs and livelihoods across Mid & West Wales.
As part of my COVID recovery plan, I am calling on the Welsh Government to:
- Abolish business rates altogether for small businesses with a rateable value 7of up to £15,000.
- Establish a £250 million Coronavirus Community Recovery Fund to support communities and high streets hardest hit across Mid & West Wales.
- Extend its financial support package for the hospitality and tourism sectors, which have particularly been hit hard across Mid & West Wales, until June 2021.
- Double the funding made available to re-train and upskill young people who have lost a job during the pandemic.
Small, family businesses are the backbone of the Mid & West Wales economy. We must ensure that we create a climate in which these businesses can re-bound, invest and hire new staff as we emerge from this wretched pandemic in 2021.
This economic blueprint can provide renewed hope and economic optimism for families and businesses across Mid & West Wales."