£400m Economic Resilience Fund is open for applications

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The second phase of the Welsh Government’s £500m Economic Resilience Fund is now open for applications after the first stage saw the £100m Development Bank of Wales‘ loan scheme fully subscribed in little more than a week with applications currently being processed.

The fund offers further financial support in dealing with coronavirus crisis and will be vital in helping organisations manage cash flow pressures.

It has been designed to address gaps not currently met by schemes already announced by the UK Government, Welsh Government and Development Bank of Wales and is targeted at micro businesses, SMEs and large businesses of critical social or economic importance to Wales. You can complete the COVID-19 support eligibility checker to make sure you are able to apply, and upon successful completion you will have a link to the online application.

More than 120 Welsh Government and Business Wales contract staff have been diverted onto processing the many applications that are expected to ensure that money reaches businesses as quickly as possible.

“Funding from the second phase of our Economic Resilience Fund is going to be absolutely essential for businesses, charities and social enterprises in seeing them through this incredibly tough period,” said economy minister Ken Skates.

“Last week, I announced the eligibility criteria for the fund, and businesses have used this time to study whether they qualify for financial support. Those who feel they do can apply through the Business Wales website from today.

“We will be processing applications as fast as possible and we have moved staff into roles for exactly this purpose – to get money out quickly to businesses who need it.

“We are going to support as many firms as possible through this £200m tranche of funding, but I have been clear that it will not reach everyone.

“We are doing all that we can as a Welsh Government and although we fully understand how difficult times are, we need the UK Government to go further and provide the money needed for Welsh firms, of all sizes, to survive and recover.

The details of the support are as follows:

Support for Microbusinesses:

A grant of up to £10,000 is available to assist microbusinesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

This grant can only be claimed by businesses that meet the following criteria:

  • employing between 1 and 9 employees (In addition to the business owner)
  • operating address in Wales and have employees in Wales
  • VAT registered or sector/business exempt from VAT with a turnover greater than £85k, details of VAT exemption can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-exemption-and-partial-exemption
  • have experienced a drop in turnover greater than >40% as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak (since the 1 March 2020)
  • supported businesses must aim to maintain employment for 12 months
  • only one application per businesses
  • businesses will need to provide:
    • details of reduction in turnover as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak
    • evidence of business address by providing VAT registration

The grant is available to microbusinesses that are not eligible for the Business Rate Grant or the support for self-employed grant.

Support for Small and Medium Sized Enterprise’s (SME’s)

A grant of between £25,000 and £100,000 is available to assist qualifying SME’s(between 10 and 249 employees)

The grant can only be claimed by businesses that meet the following criteria:

• are VAT registered or sector/business exempt from VAT with a turnover greater than £85k, details of VAT exemption can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-exemption-and-partial-exemption
• are headquartered in Wales or have an operating address in Wales that has full decision-making autonomy
• have experienced a drop in turnover greater than 60% since 1st March 2020
• are able to demonstrate the business / organisation will be sustainable for at least 12 months with a sustainable business plan to trade out of crisis
• are viable entities able to confirm some access to funding to cover costs and can demonstrate attempts (successful or otherwise) to secure funding from wider sources (for example a bank, HMRC, Development Bank of Wales, UK Government loan facilities such as the Business Interruption Scheme or direct Bank of England support) before applying for this fund
• are able to confirm that funding from any other Welsh Government non-repayable COVID-19 grant funding source is not being pursued*
• are able to demonstrate that without additional support the viability of the enterprise will be under threat including the number of jobs this support protects
• undertake that for as long as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is in place, they will not make any future compulsory redundancies

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