Swansea businesses are being put on stand-by to share in millions of pounds more in grants to help tide them through the latest lockdown.
Swansea Council has already handed out around £115m in grants to thousands of local small and medium-sized businesses to help them protect jobs and livelihoods.
Just before Christmas more than £2m was paid automatically to hospitality businesses which had to close to help keep people safe and slow the spread of the virus.
In the coming days the council hopes to hand over another £4m in Welsh Government grants automatically to temporarily closed retail businesses which have been classed as non-essential by Welsh Government.
Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council, welcomed the funding and the pace of payments being made to businesses.
He said: “We are working hard with Welsh Government to get as much money as we can as quickly as we can to businesses affected by the latest lockdown. Covid-19 is a killer and so is the new variant of it.
“Businesses understand the importance of pushing back against the virus and are playing their part. We want them to emerge from the lockdown thriving and at the heart of our communities.”
He added: “What the rest of us need to do is abide by Welsh Government rules by staying at home and only going out for essential travel, shopping or exercise. The more we do the right thing, the better we can protect our NHS, save lives and the quicker we can get out of the pandemic.”
Hospitality businesses in Swansea that are liable for business rates and which received payments in the previous firebreak were given automatic payments of the latest grant before Christmas. Non-essential retail businesses that received a firebreak payment but which had to close as well from Christmas Eve should receive them soon.
Other businesses may need to apply for the main grant or for discretionary grants. These take longer to process and pay because each has to be individually assessed before the money is made available.
Businesses looking to benefit from Welsh Government grants available through the council should go to www.swansea.gov.uk/restrictionsfundNDR or www.swansea.gov.uk/restrictionsfunddiscretionary for more detailed information.