Economic Resilience Fund; First Minister statement on tourism

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9 June 2020


Economic Resilience Fund - find out if your business is eligible for support from the next phase

Businesses can now find out if they are eligible to apply for financial support from the next phase of the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF).

The online eligibility checker has reopened today and businesses will be able to make applications for support from this phase of the fund by the end of the month.

The ERF is designed to support businesses, social enterprises and charities, which are not eligible for other Welsh Government and UK Government support schemes.

The next phase of the fund will enable businesses to access a further £100m of financial support. It is being targeted at microbusinesses, SMEs and large businesses of critical economic importance, which have yet to receive financial assistance from the ERF.

Economy, Transport and North Wales Minister Ken Skates said:

“Our package of support for Welsh business has been absolutely vital in supporting thousands of firms through these exceptionally difficult times.

“Close to £200m has now been provided to businesses from the Economic Resilience Fund with all applications being processed.

“We are today reopening our eligibility checker for the next phase of funding. This will allow companies time to prepare their applications, ahead of the fund reopening for applications at the end of the month.

“The measures we have taken are in addition to the support available from the UK Government, making our package the most comprehensive and generous in the UK.

“This next phase will reach businesses, which have yet to receive funding, but we know it won’t reach all those in need. We are proactively working on further options, but it is clear we need the UK Government to step up and provide the longer-term and additional funding needed to see Welsh business through this pandemic.”

This latest phase will operate in broadly the same way as the first phase but with an update to the eligibility of the micro scheme. This will enable some limited companies which are not VAT registered to access the fund, subject to other criteria being met.

Large businesses, which have suffered more than a 60% reduction of turnover since 1 March 2020 may also qualify for funding if they meet other conditions. A further £10m has been available from the ERF to support larger firms.

To date, almost £200m of ERF funding has been distributed to companies across Wales, supporting a wide variety of businesses to deal with the impact of coronavirus.

This includes the Development Bank of Wales’ loan scheme element of the fund which has seen more than £90m offered or invested in 1,300-plus firms.

Work is continuing to develop further options to support those businesses, which have not yet been able to access help, such as start-up firms not eligible for the UK Government’s Self Employment Income Support Scheme.

Check if you are eligible for the COVID-19 Economic Resilience Fund - please note that if you received support under the first phase you will not be eligible to apply a second time.

First Minister statement on tourism

Following the recent I news article, you can view the response from the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford.  

The First Minister has been clear that this Government is committed to doing all we feasibly can to support the sector and to allow for a safe, phased reopening.

The feedback we’ve had from the tourism industry has been invaluable in helping to support it during the pandemic. We are very aware of the concerns and the desire to reopen but only when it is safe to do so. We are also very aware of the concerns of communities that nothing should be done which could exacerbate the spread of coronavirus.

Tourism is a vital part of the Welsh economy at a national, regional and local level, It is therefore critical that we continue to work with the industry and local communities to ensure a safe return of tourism,  this includes developing detailed guidance and protocols to support the sector and protect the community, staff and visitors.

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.