SWANSEA Council has served up a new boost to the hospitality industry by removing licensing costs for tables and chairs on city centre pavement cafes for the rest of the financial year.
The move will help businesses as they battle back from lockdown – and will help bring added life to the city centre streets.
It has been welcomed by Swansea BID (Business Improvement District) that’s working with members across the city centre to help them secure licenses for offering services on paved areas adjoining their premises.
Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “Whilst keeping people safe, we want to help business as best we can at this challenging time.
“By removing these costs until April we can save them many thousands of pounds and give them a better chance of thriving in our post-lockdown city.”
David Hopkins, the council’s cabinet member for delivery and operations – and joint deputy leader, said: “The move will help keep people in work and give residents more safe options for eating and drinking away from their homes.
“It will allow businesses more incentive to invest in customer safety, helping towards avoiding another lockdown situation.
“Other measures we’ve taken to help hospitality businesses include launching a fast-track license application process, removing traffic from Wind Street for much of the day and offering grants of up to £8,000 for outdoor furniture.”
BID chief executive Russell Greenslade said: “We’re glad to be working with the council and others to help businesses serve the public as best they can in our new-look city centre.
“The priority is to keep people safe and guard against a second coronavirus spike – but we also want to give the local economy the best chance of succeeding in these difficult times.
“We’re working with the council to deliver the outdoor furniture grant initiative in the BID area and nearby locations – and the extended removal of licensing fees will be a big help.
“Businesses are responding positively as they have done throughout the phased reopening process with which we’ve assisted through our COVID recovery framework.”
Thanks to the Welsh Government’s easing of restrictions, hospitality businesses have been able to open indoors since Monday, August 3.
Social distancing still applies and customers are being asked to book ahead and understand that measures such as screens and track and trace are in place.
Customers are also being asked to enjoy Swansea responsibly.