The Welsh Government has recognised that its current Covid-19 financial support measures do not do enough to support small and micro-businesses that do not qualify for other schemes, so is launching new grants through its Economic Resilience Fund for which applications will open on 17 April (although Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates has acknowledged that “this fund will reach a significant number of businesses, charities and social enterprises, but it’s clear it won’t reach all. That’s why we’re calling on the UK Government to provide further financial support for Welsh firms to help steer them through this incredibly difficult period. We also need to see funding from the schemes they have announced reach businesses much quicker than they currently are”).
The Economic Resilience Fund is broken down as follows:
- £100m COVID-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme administered by Development Bank of Wales (which is fully subscribed)
- £100m fund to support microbusinesses
- £300m fund to support SMEs and large businesses
Support for Microbusinesses:
A grant of up to £10,000 is available to assist microbusinesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak who meet the following criteria:
- employing between 1 and 9 employees (In addition to the business owner)
- operating address in Wales and have employees in Wales
- VAT registered
- have experienced a drop in turnover greater than >40% as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak (since the 1 March 2020)
- supported businesses must aim to maintain employment for 12 months
- only one application per businesses
- businesses will need to provide:
- details of reduction in turnover as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak
- evidence of business address by providing VAT registration (within the last 3 months)
The grant is available to microbusinesses that are not eligible for the Business Rate Grant or the support for self-employed grant.
Small and medium sized firms
with between 10 and 249 employees could be eligible for grants of up to £100,000 if they:
- Have experienced in excess of a 60% reduction in turnover since the first day of March
- Are not be eligible for business rate relief grants, or if they are, that amount would be deducted from their allocation from this fund
- Have a sustainable business plan to trade beyond the Covid-19 pandemic
- Confirm no future compulsory redundancies will be made as long as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is in place
- Are not be pursuing any other form of Welsh Government non-repayable grant funding support
Funding will also be available to support large businesses with more than 249 employees. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis to consider where funding can be deployed most effectively to compliment other sources of support.
Check your eligibility at https://fundchecker.businesswales.gov.wales/.