First Minister Mark Drakeford has today announced a new £500 million fund to provide extra support to the Welsh economy, businesses and charities experiencing a sharp drop in trading as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Economic Resilience Fund aims to plug the gaps in the support schemes already announced by the UK Government, including the Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, which will guarantee 80% of people’s wages and income.
The new £500 million Welsh fund will support firms of all sizes, including social enterprises, with a focus on those which have not already benefited from the coronavirus grants already announced by Welsh Government.
The £500 million fund is made up of two main elements:
- a new £100 million Development Bank of Wales fund will be available for companies experiencing cash flow problems as a result of the pandemic and will provide loans of between £5,000 and £250,000 at favourable interest rates
- businesses will also be able to benefit from a £400 million emergency pot providing:
- Grants of £10,000 for micro-businesses employing up to nine people. This includes sole traders employing staff. Qualifying businesses will be able to apply by mid-April.
- Grants of up to £100,000 for small and medium sized firms with between 10 and 249 employees. Qualifying businesses will be able to apply from next week.
- Support for larger Welsh companies, which are of critical social or economic importance to Wales. This element will be open to qualifying businesses within the next two weeks.
The £500 million Economic Resilience Fund will support businesses forced to temporarily cease trading – to go into “hibernation” – or which need cash-flow support to adapt to a remote way of working.
The new fund builds on the £1.4 billion business support package announced by Welsh Government on 18 March, which provides a year-long rate relief holiday for all but the largest premises in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and grant-support for more than 70,000 small businesses.
Posted on: Monday 30th March 2020