KEY business leaders will help form an advisory group to support businesses overcome the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Carmarthenshire County Council is forming the group as part of the county’s recovery from the pandemic.

The council’s executive board has been discussing the challenges being faced by local businesses and has approved a strategy to help revive Carmarthenshire’s local economy following months of crisis.

It follows a business impact survey that nearly 600 businesses responded to, with telephone interviews conducted with over 400 businesses.

The results are stark, and a reminder of the huge challenges being faced by the business sector.

Amongst the worst hit is the county’s visitor economy, food and beverage sectors, and the agriculture industry – two of the biggest contributors to Carmarthenshire’s economy.

Businesses have said they have suffered a significant reduction in income, reduced access to customers and problems with supply chains since the lockdown came into force in March.

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Many of them said they are facing the possibility of losing their businesses altogether.

Since March, the council has supported over 3,600 businesses access over £43million in grant support from the Welsh Government, but many who answered the survey said they found themselves ineligible for financial support.

Supporting these businesses is key to the council’s economic recovery plan.

Council Leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole, who is responsible for regeneration and economic development, said the pandemic has had a significant impact on businesses, the economy and communities. He said: “This report is a first of its kind for Carmarthenshire and will help us restart, recover and regenerate the economy. It’s a challenge for us, and one that will be difficult at times, but it’s a clear strategy which will help set us on our way to recovery.”

Results of the business impact survey, the full report and an archive of the webcast of the executive board meeting can be found on the Council and Democracy section of Carmarthenshire County Council’s website, www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales

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