Economic Resilience Fund to go live this week

ERF

The third tranche of the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund is set to go live this week, with grant funding of up to £200k in the form of a non-repayable grants available to businesses of all sizes.

The theme of this funding round is “recovery” and it is intended to support businesses in Wales with development projects that will assist them to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and ensure future sustainability. This grant is therefore to be used to fund ongoing revenue expenditure (e.g. staff costs, digitisation, new processes, skills development, marketing, etc) rather than capital investment.

We’ve spoken to Welsh Government at length to understand this particular funding pot and have summarised the key eligibility criteria and application process below, the key difference from previous Covid-19 funding rounds being that a business development plan is now required as part of all applications to demonstrate how such funding will assist you in safeguarding your business going forwards.

Support On Offer:

The grant will be open to businesses of all sizes in Wales at varying levels:

  • Micro businesses (employing between 1 and 9 people) will be able to apply for up to £10,000 on the condition they match this with their own investment of at least 10% (for Tourism and Hospitality micro businesses there will be discretion for grant awards of up to 100%)
  • SMEs (employing between 10 and 249 people) will be able to apply for up to £150,000. Small businesses (up to 50 employees) will be required to match this with their own investment of at least 10% and medium businesses (between 50 and 249 employees) with at least 20% of their own funding; again, for Tourism and Hospitality SMEs there will be discretion for grant awards of up to 100%;
  • Large businesses (employing 250+ people) will be able to apply for up to £200,000 on the condition they match this with their own investment of at least 50%.

If the project is intended to create new jobs for young people (under 25) you may be eligible for a higher level of award.

Eligibility Criteria:

At a high level, eligible businesses must:

  • Be based in Wales
  • Have an annual turnover above £50k
  • Be operating a PAYE scheme for at least one employee (said employee can also be the Company Director or business owner, as long as a PAYE scheme is in place for that individual)
  • Be at least one of the following:
    • VAT registered (or VAT exempt)
    • A Limited Company, registered in the UK

To assist with determining initial eligibility, Welsh Government have provided an online checker here – this link will also advise you of the specific information that you would need to submit, pertaining to your own specific circumstances.

Assuming eligibility has in principle been established, grants will then be awarded on a subjective basis, depending on the strength of the business case put forward. From our discussions with Welsh Government, we understand that as part of this business case you will need to clearly explain how the funds you are seeking will be used, what costs are involved (with 2 quotes for each cost provided where applicable) and how this will positively impact your business, specifically how this will assist you to survive or grow, and whether jobs will be safeguarded or created as a result. In addition, successful applicants will need to demonstrate how their plans fit with at least one or more of the five calls to action contained within the Welsh Government’s Economic Action Plan.

Next Steps:

Whilst applications are set to be open for four weeks, we anticipate that this Fund will rapidly become oversubscribed when launched (the exact go-live date & time this week has not been released as yet) so if you feel that you are eligible for the Fund and would like assistance in preparing your application, please contact us.

 

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