Heather Myers, CEO of South and Mid Wales Chambers of Commerce, joined Ministers from the UK Government and Welsh Government to chair a virtual Q&A to discuss the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 and how Welsh businesses are being affected.
Heather joined UK Government Minister for Wales David TC Davies, Minister for Business and Industry, Nadhim Zahawi, and Welsh Government Deputy Minister for the Economy and Transport, Lee Waters, on the call, which was also attended by 80 business leaders from across Wales.
The call, which was supported by the Chambers of Wales, the CBI, FSB and IoD, enabled members of these business organisations to provide important feedback on how the pandemic is affecting their businesses and employees. Discussions were also held around how both governments and businesses will work together to recover from the pandemic and to secure the future strength of the Welsh economy.
The Ministers underlined both Governments’ commitment to support business through the unprecedented and ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to continue to work together on a collective response.
During the Q&A, Minister Davies said he recognised the concerns of business leaders and their employees and highlighted the support packages the UK Government has made available, including £330 billion in UK Government-backed loans and the Job Retention Scheme which launched this week.
Minister Davies and Minister Zahawi outlined the continued commitment to working with the Welsh Government to tackle the coronavirus in Wales, noting that more than £2 billion in funding has now been provided to the Welsh Government by the UK Government to deal with this emergency.
Welsh Government Deputy Minister for the Economy Lee Waters also highlighted the support the devolved administration has provided including business rate relief and small business grants.
Speaking about the Q&A, Heather said: “During these difficult and fast changing circumstances, it is vital that businesses have the opportunity to explain to political decision makers the issues that they currently face.
Being asked to take the Chair was something I welcomed because one of the core mandates of the Chamber is to ensure that Welsh business has a voice. Therefore, being able to connect over 80 business leaders to three high profile and influential Ministers was hugely important.”