Plaid ‘business manifesto’ pledges zero interest loans
Plaid Cymru today launched its ‘business manifesto’ with a pledge to introduce zero interest loans to “accelerate post-Covid recovery.”
Party Leader Adam Price set out ambitious plans to create “a smarter economy”.
Adam Price, who is standing in the Senedd election for Carmarthen East and Dinefiwr, said that “Wales has one of the lowest levels of local business ownership of any advanced economy” and that a Plaid Cymru government “would ensure that a new emphasis is placed on supporting indigenous firms with potential for growth”.
One of the main pledges is emergency Covid-19 support for businesses in the form of zero interest loans that Mr Price said would help “accelerate the post-pandemic recovery”, as well as emergency reskill grants to address skill shortages in specific sectors.
Other elements of the Plaid Cymru Business Manifesto include:
- Providing immediate Restart Grants of up to £20,000 to businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors (and others affected by lockdown restrictions).
- Developing Emergency Reskill Grants to address skill shortages that may emerge in specific sectors of the economy, for example in hospitality.
- A Local First policy built around local ownership of business.
- Introducing proposals during the coming Senedd term for a Site Valuation Tax covering commercial and industrial land – agricultural land will be exempted – aimed at scrapping non-domestic rates.
- Offering Business Protection Grants of up to 90% of fixed costs for businesses that will continue to be affected by the effects of the pandemic over the course of the next 18 months.
- A Make it Welsh policy to substantially increase the proportion of our economy which is domestically owned.
- Delivering a £6bn programme of investment to support business development and a Welsh Green Deal.
- Establishing Prosperity Wales, and arms-length all-Wales development agency to provide effective policy delivery for business.
Adam Price said: “Wales has one of the lowest levels of local business ownership of any advanced economy. That must change.
“Our plans for a smarter economy will be based on expanding, supporting, and protecting domestic businesses. A Plaid government will ensure that a new emphasis is placed on supporting indigenous firms with potential for growth.
“We recognise that the past year has been a huge challenge for Welsh businesses. That’s why a Plaid government would bring in emergency Covid-19 support, offering zero interest loans for business to accelerate the post-pandemic recovery.
“My focus as First Minister would be on supporting as many people as possible back into work, be that through Plaid Cymru’s Youth Job Guarantee or by supporting businesses with additional financial support.
“We would extend business rate relief to the hospitality sector and other worst affected businesses, initially until the end of June and longer as necessary.
“In addition, we would develop an emergency support scheme to cover up to 90% of fixed costs for businesses that will continue to be affected by the pandemic over the course of the next 18 months.
“Other policies range from boosting procurement to driving up levels of innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Our £6bn programme of investment – the Welsh Green Deal – would create up to 60,000 jobs ensuring that job-creation and growth benefit the economy and environment alike.
“This is an ambitious, fully-costed plan that proves that Plaid Cymru is the party of Welsh business.”