£500 Million Coronavirus Economic Resilience Fund Launched for Wales

£500 Million Coronavirus Economic Resilience Fund Launched for Wales

The Welsh Government has announced a further package of support for the business community to help it deal with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced £500 million of new funding to provide extra support to the Welsh economy, as organisations experience 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 Fund will support businesses that have been temporarily forced to cease trading – to go into ‘hibernation’ – or those that need cash flow support to adapt to a remote way of working. It will be open to firms of all sizes, including social enterprises, with a focus on those that have not yet benefited from the coronavirus grants already announced by the Welsh Government.

The £500 million initiative is made up of two main elements:

A new £100 million Development Bank of Wales fund for companies experiencing cash flow problems as a result of the pandemic, providing loans of between £5,000 and £250,000 at favourable interest rates.

A £400 million emergency funding 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 early April.

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.

This announcement 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.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

‘We made a commitment as a Welsh Government to fill the gaps and support the economy and businesses through this incredibly difficult time.

‘This package of support provides further assurance to firms, charities and social enterprises that we will do just that – help them deal with the economic impact of the pandemic.’

Business Wales is providing firms with tailored support and advice about dealing with coronavirus, from financial and supply chain planning to advice on staffing issues. Those affected are advised to visit the Business Wales website or call the helpline on 03000 6 03000.