12 March 2021
Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said:
“While health clearly comes first and the First Minister is right to proceed with caution in terms of easing restrictions, many businesses – particularly those in hardest-hit sectors like non-essential retail – were given a strong indication that a mid-month reopening was on the cards.
“This latest announcement, of a more limited relaxation of restrictions than anticipated, leaves firms with the impression of being marched to the top of the hill, only to be asked to walk back down again.
“With low demand and cashflow problems affecting almost all SMEs across Wales, many will have already undertaken significant and costly preparations to ensure they get up and running as soon as possible. While continued business support is obviously welcome, it can’t come close to making up for lost trade.
“The Welsh Government has engaged positively with business during many phases of the pandemic, however this late change of heart is a disappointing reminder of the need for transparency around decision-making, particularly as many of the key data points – especially on transmission and vaccine uptake – have been heading in the right direction for some time.”