More than 5,500 businesses apply for £100m business development grants

THE £100m business grants element of the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) has been fully subscribed with more than 5,500 businesses applying for support. Businesses can still however benefit from the £200m available from the third phase of the fund.

Demand from businesses of all sizes across Wales has been received since the latest round of the ERF Development Grants opened to applications at 3pm on Wednesday. The eligibility checker for this round of the fund was launched earlier this month.

The £100m business grants are part of the £300m made available in the third stage of the ERF by the Welsh Government to support businesses continuing to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. £20m of this is ring-fenced for tourism and hospitality businesses.

The Welsh Government has confirmed that applications will now be processed as quickly as possible and it expects to start getting support out to businesses from the middle of November.

Businesses can still benefit from the £200m available from the third phase. Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that are required to close and which occupy a property with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000 will be eligible for a share of the £200m funding and all businesses eligible for Small Business rate relief will also receive support. Businesses will need to register and update their details via Business Wales or their Local Authority to receive financial support.

Eligible firms that do not qualify for business rates linked grants are able to apply for awards of up to £2,000 from a £25m discretionary fund via their local authority.

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Economy Minister Ken Skates said: “The importance of the Economic Resilience Fund to Welsh businesses is evident in the sheer number of applications that have been received. We know that businesses have been preparing for this for some time, ever since the eligibility checker opened earlier this month.

“We know this is an incredibly difficult and challenging time for companies. We will work hard to get this much needed funding out of the door and into the bank accounts of businesses that need it as quickly as we can.

“We would remind those firms who do not qualify for business rates linked grants that they can also apply for help through their local authority.

“As a Welsh Government, we remain absolutely committed to doing all we can to support our businesses, our workers and our communities through these incredibly difficult times.”

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