While many can still operate on a takeaway basis, some businesses are weighing up whether another two weeks of not being able to operate fully is worth it.
First Minister Mark Drakeford announced on Monday a package of financial support for those with businesses who will have to close from 6pm on Friday, October 23 until Monday, November 9.
But businesses, some still feeling the effects of the first lockdown, are scared of what the next two weeks will mean for them.
Tom Hunt runs Pembrokeshire-based Madtom Seafood Cafe Bar with wife Samantha and they have already got eight staff on furlough and might have to reduce the number at work even more.
They’ve spent thousands of pounds altering their Narberth business to be Covid-safe, including putting up greenhouses in the front garden with specially-made tables and decking.
Asked how he was feeling after the fire-break announcement, Tom said: “Absolutely terrified.
“The first lockdown we held our breath, we didn’t know which way it was going to go. But this time, we really don’t know , we’ve spent a lot of money on doing the greenhouses and we don’t really have much left to get us through two weeks.”
Tom added that during the first lockdown he and Sam stayed open with just the pair of them operating the cafe as a takeaway.
“If there is something available then great and if it will get us through then great,” he added, on the financial packages announced by Mr Drakeford.
“We need to sit down and chat and see what we can come up with, whether we can stay open. Saying all this we are hopeful, we are optimistic – we’re not giving up.”
Over at Barry Sidings Country Park in Hopkinstown, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Jamie Rowlands and his staff are running the cafe in a place popular with families, walkers and cyclists.
During lockdown part one, they closed the cafe for a while, with the accompanying bike shop open for essential maintenance,
Jamie feels like all the hard work put in to reopen is just falling by the wayside, not to mention having to find different suppliers after the pandemic clipped supplies.
“As a business we’ve spent thousands on our business model and working through different phases,” said Jamie, who has reopened the cafe using local suppliers including Bragdy Twt Lol and The Gourmet Butcher.
“Myself and the staff have spoken about and worked through all those phases and now it seems like we could be back at phase one.
“We are in a countryside park. It’s been something that people have enjoyed visiting, to get out and visit us for their mental health.
“We’ve kept our heads down and done what we think is right for our customers and staff. It’s a kick in the teeth and we should be embracing us, fitness and outdoors – what we offer, it should be embraced.”
Details about the full financial assistance package will be available later this week, but here’s what First Minister Mark Drakeford said today:
” I can confirm today we created an extra Economic Resilience Fund of almost £300m.
“We have put an extra £150m into phase three of the ERF to support to businesses affected by the firebreak.
“Every business covered by the small business rates relief will get a £1,000 payment.
“Small and medium-sized retail, leisure, and hospitality businesses which have to close will receive a one-off payment of up to £5,000.
“There will also be additional discretionary grants and support for smaller businesses which are struggling.
“Beyond that the £80m fund we announced last week to help businesses develop in the longer term will be increased to £100m and there will be £20m ring-fenced within that for tourism and hospitality.
“We know businesses will need this support quickly. The funds will open in the first week of the fire-break and we will work to get the money allocated as quickly as we can to those businesses who needed it.
“All businesses required to close will also be able to access the support available from the UK Government – through the existing Job Retention Scheme or the new expanded Job Support Scheme.
“However we understand the real challenge this presents for businesses. I have written to the Chancellor to ask him to give Welsh businesses early access to the new expanded Job Support Scheme from Friday.
“This would remove the need for businesses to juggle the Job Retention Scheme and the Job Support Scheme during this fire-break period. Given the urgency we have offered to pay the extra costs that would be involved in that from Welsh Government funds to help businesses retain staff.
“Only the UK Government has the financial power to guarantee the levels of income support workers need and we need more generous payments to help workers through this crisis.”
Pubs will also be hit by the firebreak lockdown, with CAMRA noting that we could see a lot of pubs and breweries close their doors.
CAMRA Director for Wales, Chris Charters, said: “Our pubs, breweries and cider-makers are still trying to recover from the first lockdown, and have been operating at reduced trade for months and have invested thousands of pounds of their dwindling reserves to make their premises Covid-secure.
“This announcement of a two-week closure is absolutely devastating news and is a real make or break moment for Welsh beer, cider and pubs.
“Whilst grants from the Welsh Government are welcome and necessary, many fear that they won’t be enough to pay for both fixed costs and their staff wages as the UK Government’s jobs support scheme doesn’t kick in until next month.”
Ceredigion pub, Y Ffarmers, which has definitely risen to challenges over the years, is another venue hoping for the best for the coming fortnight.
Back in 2018 the Llanfihangel-y-Creuddyn, near Aberystwyth, was devastated by fire and it took 15 months to reopen.
“As long as there’s financial support and we can furlough – or whatever it’s called now – the staff, and we can just do takeaways it will be alright,” said co-owner Caitlin Morse.
“We are tired, we’re uncertain we don’t know where this is going and how long for. We are very adaptable, we got through the fire and we thought if we got through that we could get through anything.
“But it is hard not knowing.”
Caitlin, who owns the pub along with business partner Lewis Johnston is just worried about the staff.
“We value our team immensely so we worry for them,” she added.
“We kept everyone on and when we reopened we were supported. We need to do what we can to make things better, I’m not opposed to the lockdown we just need this to work out.”