Bulletin - Self-Employment Support Scheme and furlough next steps; Economic Resilience Fund; COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Tracker; Business Interruption Insurance; Test, Trace, Protect: employer guidance; Best Practice Guidance on working safely

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3 June 2020


Bulletin Contents - Self-Employment Support Scheme and furlough next steps; Economic Resilience Fund; COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Tracker; Business Interruption Insurance; Test, Trace, Protect: employer guidance; Best Practice Guidance on working safely

Self-Employment Support Scheme extended and furlough next steps confirmed

The UK Government have announced updates on the Self-Employment Support Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.  Visit the Business Wales website for more details.

Economic Resilience Fund

The Welsh Government's £500m Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) was established 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.

In its first week the £300m Economic Resilience Fund received almost 9,000 applications. As a result the Fund was paused to provide the Welsh Government with an opportunity to consider what further support businesses, charities and social enterprises need but the next phase will go live shortly.

The next £100m phase of the ERF has recently been announced with the eligibility criteria going live mid-June allowing businesses time to prepare before the fund opens to applications at the end of June. It’s important to note that Phase 2 will only commence when we have closed down the first phase which is why at this stage we can’t give a specific date.

In terms of eligibility, Phase 2 of the Fund will operate in the same way as Phase 1 but with an update to the micro scheme, which will enable limited companies who are not VAT registered to access the Fund, subject to meeting the wider eligibility criteria. Visit Business Wales for the latest information.

COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Tracker

Visit Wales is collaborating with Visit Scotland and Visit England on this new consumer behaviour tracker.  It concentrates on Great Britain (GB) residents to assess their domestic holiday intentions for the remainder of 2020 and early 2021 and is being conducted weekly for three months. Results of the first wave of activity are available and covers:

  • Mood of the nation – a measure
  • Consumer confidence regarding taking a domestic short break/holiday and likelihood of when they will plan, book and take any break
  • Where in the UK that break may be, what type of accommodation they will use and how they plan to travel to the destination
  • What types of activity are they more or less likely to undertake at their destination of choice  

More detailed analysis for Wales will be available on a monthly basis.

Business Interruption Insurance

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued an update on its legal action regarding business interruption insurance. Read the FCA press release here.

Test, Trace, Protect: guidance for employers

Test, Trace, Protect is the Welsh Government’s approach to testing and contact tracing which will help citizens of Wales to resume their normal lives gradually and safely.  Visit Business Wales  for more information.

Best Practice Guidance on working safely

We are consulting, via the Regional Tourism Fora, on best practice guidance for working safely in the visitor economy/tourism sector in Wales in preparation for any lifting of restrictions.  Any such lifting of restrictions will only happen in Wales when it is safe to do so and in line with the principles outlined in the Welsh Government roadmap to recovery Unlocking our society and economy: continuing the conversation.

In the meantime, a range of practical support and guidance for employers across various business areas is available on Business Wales - Keep Wales Safe at Work: Restarting and re-opening business.

Business Wales is providing businesses with tailored support and advice about dealing with coronavirus, from financial and supply chain planning to advice on staffing issues. We would advise Tourism businesses and stakeholders in Wales wanting specific guidance to visit the Business Wales website or call Business Wales helpline on 03000 6 03000, and to regularly visit the Public Health Wales website for up-to-date public health information for you, your staff and your visitors.