ECONOMY Minister Ken Skates today released further information about the fund, including eligibility criteria for businesses and charities to enable them to prepare to apply.
The fund will provide additional financial support during the coronavirus pandemic and will help organisations to manage cash flow pressures. It will help to address gaps not met by schemes already announced by the UK Government, Welsh Government and Development Bank of Wales.
Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates said:
“Today is another important step to providing businesses, charities and social enterprises with the support and reassurance they need at an incredibly difficult time.
“We are making the next £200m available through the fund – a substantial amount of money. It will be available to firms who pass the eligibility criteria and is designed to help those businesses and charity organisations who are struggling with cash flow problems.
“The fund will go live for applications next week, but I must reiterate the importance of those considering applying to go through the guidance to establish whether they are likely to be eligible.
“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.”
Information about this second phase of the Economic Resilience Fund is available on the Business Wales website.
This phase, which will release £200m of funding, will be targeted at microbusinesses, SMEs and large businesses of critical social or economic importance to Wales.
The first phase saw the £100m Development Bank of Wales’ loan scheme fully subscribed in a week – all applications are being processed.
To be eligible for this second phase of support, businesses, charities and social enterprises, must meet criteria including:
Micro businesses, including start-ups, employing up to nine employees could be eligible for up to £10k support. This includes sole traders employing staff. Businesses in this bracket could qualify for support from the fund if they:
– Have experienced in excess of a 40% reduction in turnover since 1 March 2020
– Can demonstrate that efforts have been made to sustain business activity
– Are not pursuing other forms of Welsh Government non-repayable grant funding support
– Are not be entitled to business rate relief grants
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.
Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said:
“This fund is part of more than £2bn of support that we have made available to help businesses and charities during these difficult times.
“Support for business is crucially important, and it is an issue which dominated discussions when I met with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and devolved Finance Ministers yesterday. It is clear that whilst we are doing all we can in Wales to plug any gaps and provide the best possible financial support to businesses, there are further steps that the UK Government needs to urgently take.”
Full details on the eligibility criteria can be found at: https://fundchecker.businesswales.gov.wales/
The application process for businesses qualifying for financial support from the Economic Resilience Fund will open on Friday 17 April via the Business Wales website.