Wales Election Manifestos 2021 – what’s in it for small businesses?

Most political parties in Wales plan to support small businesses

With the election coming up on May 6, we’re taking a closer look at the manifestos to help you decide who to vote for.

For those of you in Wales, here’s a roundup of each party’s campaign pledges that are aimed at small business owners.


  • Master plans will be developed for towns and main streets, including a register of empty buildings and small businesses helped to set up in empty stores.
  • Protecting over 165,000 jobs by offering the UK’s most generous business support program
  • Use the £ 500million Wales Flexible Investment Fund to support economic recovery and expand the Development Bank of Wales’ patient capital funds to provide long-term loans to small and medium-sized businesses companies, entrepreneurs and start-ups. Increase the use of equity investments in business support. Securing the establishment of a Community Bank for Wales, supporting its growth so that it has 30 branches across Wales over the next decade
  • Develop a local business support fund to support local businesses. Provide more support for employee buyouts and, with the cooperative sector, seek to double the number of companies owned by employees
  • Changing the way people work, rather than going to the office every day, will aim for a 30% target for working remotely to achieve a better work-life balance. Develop new remote work centers in communities, increase attendance and create new opportunities in city centers
  • Helping Welsh businesses find new export markets and create new jobs
  • Create 125,000 apprenticeships for all ages during the next term of Senedd. Work with unions and employers to expand the use of shared and degree learning to offer people more flexible routes to training and a career


  • The manifesto promises a ‘Covid-bounce’ package, including a £ 2.5 billion investment fund and the maintenance of the 5% reduction in VAT for tourism businesses until April 2022.
  • Establish the business development agency “ Innovate Wales ” in North Wales
  • Abolish commercial tariffs for small businesses
  • Prioritizing Welsh businesses for public procurement
  • Urgently review and start funding businesses immediately as needed
  • Support new microenterprises with the “ Jump Start Scheme ”, by paying the employer National Insurance
    Contributions from two new employees over two years to accelerate growth
  • Create ‘Innovate Wales’, based in North Wales, a one-stop shop for businesses to support new businesses and encourage existing businesses to grow and export
  • Create free zones at the professional rate offering three years’ leave at the professional rate for SMEs as part of the Covid Community Recovery Fund
  • Helping Welsh businesses recover from the pandemic by prioritizing them for government contracts by proactively promoting opportunities, especially with micro and small businesses
  • Support rural businesses and enable more people to work from home by removing black spots from mobile phones and broadband, removing barriers to network improvement and creating a £ 50million Not-Spot fund
  • Offer 150,000 apprenticeships by 2026

Cymru throw

  • Interest-free loans to help small businesses bounce back from Covid
  • Ultra-fast broadband will be available to all establishments and businesses in Wales
  • Expand the role of the Development Bank for Wales and support the creation of a community bank to help national businesses increase their market share
  • Develop a strategy to develop existing businesses with high growth potential
  • Establish a business succession program and appropriate financial support to retain Welsh ownership of successful businesses, with particular emphasis on increasing the number of employee-owned businesses
  • Develop public distribution systems so that small and medium-sized businesses are no longer blocked from accessing the market (where this is monopolized by supermarkets, large retailers and online platforms like Amazon or Uber) and can sell directly to consumers
  • Establish a strategy for investing in small and medium-sized businesses, including zero-interest long-term loans with long paybacks, trade-in loans, payback and payback loans, and new business transactions in start-up and growing
  • Invest in a new community bank to help small businesses and restore local banking services to customers in the many communities in Wales who have lost their local banks

Liberal Democrats

  • Make funds available to invest in digital connectivity, put buildings back into service, invest in infrastructure and create accessible and welcoming places to visit that support jobs, businesses and workers
  • Create a £ 500million fund to help main streets, towns and city centers, and support small businesses in Wales to thrive and adapt
  • Work to remove the barriers Wales businesses now face when trading with European markets
  • Freeze professional tariffs for the life of the next Senedd and, in the long term, replace professional tariffs with a fairer and more favorable system
  • Investing in broadband and mobile phone connectivity to enable businesses to compete better online, including providing training and support to enable businesses to transition to a new ‘virtual mainstreet’
  • Develop a long-term plan to support businesses and enable small businesses to thrive, including the creation of an Economic Recovery Board, based on the real experience and voices of small businesses across Wales
  • Pass a law on public procurement, obliging local authorities to prioritize commissioning of local small businesses and supply chains, while making other rules more flexible giving more leeway to invest in longer-term contracts
  • Ensure that over the next five years at least 90% of homes and businesses in Wales have access to fiber-optic broadband


Propel has a contract with Wales instead of a conventional manifesto. The following promises appear:

  • Create eight cooperative community banks, with the main objective of investing in existing and new local small and medium enterprises
  • Reindustrialize Wales for the 21st Century with a Focus on Developing High Tech and Sustainable Manufacturing for Export
  • A new public procurement strategy will be adopted to ensure that 100% of public spending goes to Welsh businesses

Reform UK (formerly The Brexit Party)

Reform UK has a contract with the people of Wales:

  • The party would also abolish trade tariffs for small and medium-sized businesses, introduce an internet sales tax
  • Help local businesses to open in high street premises so that they can establish themselves
  • Free up 1.2 million small businesses and freelancers from paying corporate tax


  • Facilitate the regeneration of streets and communities with a mix of rents and low rates for existing small businesses and social and environmental start-ups to fill empty stores and revive our main streets
  • Develop new innovative funds and local banks such as Banc Cambria, and social lenders to support social and environmental start-ups and the transition of existing industries
  • Support for essential hardware, software and bandwidth at an affordable cost to facilitate business and personal communications and local hubs linked to libraries and community settings

Read more

Covid-19 Roadmap – When can I reopen my small business in Wales?

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