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Economic Resilience Fund applications process opens

Photo credit: Matthew Horwood

Economy, Transport and North Wales Minister Ken Skates released detailed information last week about this tranche of the fund, worth £200m, including eligibility criteria for businesses and charities to enable them to prepare to apply.

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. This is a unique additional funding stream for Wales.

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.

This phase is targeted at micro businesses, SMEs and large businesses of critical social or economic importance to Wales.

Applications can be made through the Business Wales website.

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.

Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates said:

“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.

“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.”

To be eligible for this second stage of support from the Economic Resilience Fund, businesses, charities and social enterprises, must meet criteria including:

Micro Business Criteria – Grants up to £10,000

  • Employing up to 9 people
  • Have experienced in excess of a 40% reduction in turnover since 1 March 2020
  • Can demonstrate that efforts have been made to sustain business activity
  • Are not pursuing other forms of Welsh Government non-repayable grant funding support
  • Are not entitled to business rate relief
  • VAT registered or exempt from VAT
  • Pay staff through the PAYE system
  • Operating address is in Wales and have employees in Wales

Small and medium sized firms – Grants up to £100,000

  • Employ between 10 and 249 employees
  • Have experienced in excess of a 60% reduction in turnover since the 1 March 2020
  • Are not eligible for covid-19 business rate relief, or if it is, that amount would be deducted from their allocation from this fund
  • Have a sustainable business plan to trade beyond the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Confirm no future compulsory redundancies will be made while the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is in place
  • Are not pursuing any other form of Welsh Government non-repayable grant funding support
  • Operating address in Wales and have employees in Wales
  • Pay staff through the PAYE system
  • Inability to access funding needed from a bank (including DBW and the British Business Bank) is demonstrated

Larger sized firms – Unspecified amount

Funding will also be available to support large businesses with more than 249 employees. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis to consider where funding can be deployed most effectively to compliment other sources of support.

The application process for businesses qualifying for financial support from the Economic Resilience Fund can be found at: https://fundchecker.businesswales.gov.wales