BUSINESSES in Monmouthshire will receive a funding boost to help them cope with a loss of footfall.

Money set aside by the Welsh Government to help businesses in lockdown areas will also be used to help businesses in bordering areas.

Those enterprises are also suffering as a result of the lockdowns, with a drop in footfall and the resulting loss of income.

Earlier this month, a number of business owners in Monmouthshire called for extra support from the Welsh Government.

They said they were being punished for not being in local lockdown.

This was brought up again by Senedd member for South East Wales Laura Anne Jones at first minister's questions this week.

Speaking on Tuesday, the Conservative MS said: "The first 1,000 days of a baby's life are so important.

"Having a one-and-a-half year old myself, I can say that I was really worried for his development process because of the lack of interaction with others.


"It is so important, but if we are not careful we will not have places for this interaction to take place.

"Places like soft play centres - there will not be any left in Monmouthshire soon due to their businesses being hit badly by the drop in footfall and income."

Mrs Jones asked the first minister, for the second week running, to think of a way to help businesses in Monmouthshire.

In response, first minister Mark Drakeford said he had spoken to Ken Stakes MS about supporting businesses near local lockdown areas.

Mr Drakeford said: "The issue of businesses just across the border from local lockdown areas is a matter that the member raised with last week.

"There is a sum of money that we have set aside during phase three of the economic resilience fund, designed to help businesses in lockdown areas, but there will be flexibility to allow us to help businesses just across the border who are affected by these measures.

"I thank her again for raising that point with me."