A leading Welsh healthcare retailer has called on the government to provide a £50k grant for retail mobility stores that have suffered a 50% or more reduction in turnover during lockdown.
The call was part of a string of requests made in a letter to First Minister Mark Drakeford from Snowdrop Independent Living in a bid to help essential retail businesses make a full recovery.
The retailer also requested local authorities and other bodies to accelerate the backlog of work in installing adaptations, such as stairlifts, and allow them to contract services for the rest of the calendar year.
Kevin Bounds, Chairman of Snowdrop Independent Living, said: “We are disappointed that we are yet to receive a response to our letter dated 25th February and even more disappointed that the recently announced additional support package continues to ignore the needs of our sector and only focusses on non-essential retail and hospitality.
“We note that in England the care and mobility sector is explicitly included in the rate support scheme. Our products contribute directly to the physical and mental wellbeing of our customers who have had difficult year and we are doing our best to support them.
“Without a viable mobility retail sector, it is likely that there would be a greater call on public funds as this would lead to increased hospitalisations, falls and need for residential care, often funded by local authorities. With long COVID yet to be fully addressed, these pressures will likely increase over the next few years.”
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We recognise the challenges and pressures being experienced by businesses. We are doing all we can to help and our £2bn-plus package of support has been crucial in protecting thousands of businesses and jobs.
“Snowdrop Independent Living Ltd has received funding through our Economic Resilience Fund and the business may also be eligible for further funding through our Non-Domestic Rates grants.
“The measures we have taken are in addition to those provided by the UK Government, such as the Job Retention Scheme and the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.”