Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Economy
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic our aim has been and continues to be supporting individuals, businesses and our communities, as we not only look at our emergency response but to our economic recovery.
Since the start of the Pandemic we have committed more than £2.5bn in support for businesses to our businesses in a package designed to complement and build on the support provided by the UK Government. This includes more than £1.75bn in grants worth delivered by the Welsh Government in partnership with local authorities. Through support provided we’ve been able to safeguard hundreds of thousands of jobs in these most difficult of times.
Building on rates relief provide in 20/21 we have also committed £380m to provide 100% rates relief scheme for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will run for the full 12 months of this financial year, this will provide additional support for around 70,000 businesses this year.
During Oral questions on the 6th June I committed to providing members with information of how and where a breakdown of support provided to businesses affected by COVID-19 would be published. The first three phases of Economic Resilience Fund have been published as below, and details of the two Sector Specific Funds will follow in the coming weeks followed by the current package in the summer.
- ERF 1 – https://businesswales.gov.
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- ERF 2- https://businesswales.gov.
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- ERF 3 – https://businesswales.gov.
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The Welsh Government recognised the need for a further round of the Economic Resilience Fund targeted at businesses that continue to be affected by Covid-19 restrictions.
The Economic Resilience Fund is providing emergency and transition grants of up to £25k to eligible businesses to help meet their operating costs for the period between 1st May 2021 and 30th June 2021.
The support is the first phase of a £200m package to help businesses affected by the pandemic.
As restrictions have gradually been lifted over recent weeks, we have been able to reconnect and enjoy more aspects of life before COVID-19 in a safe way. This progress is good news for our economy.
The delta variant however, has meant we need to take a phased approach to moving to Alert Level One. While this is absolutely the right decision for Wales, we recognise the impact it will have on a significant number of our businesses, particularly wedding venues and indoor attractions.
I can confirm that we are putting in place further funding for those businesses in Wales that are materially affected by our phased move to Alert Level One. Eligible businesses such as indoor attractions and wedding venues who have capacity for events of more than 30 or where they remain closed by the restrictions, thus directly impacted by a phased approach, will be entitled to an additional payment of between £875 and £5000 depending on their size and circumstance. We expect these businesses to have already applied to our latest round of emergency funding and have now extended the deadline to this Wednesday to make sure every eligible business has had plenty of time to submit their applications.
Full details are available on the Business Wales website.
Our Covid support is of course in addition to our core advisory support provided by Business Wales and loan based finance provided by Development Bank Wales that continue to support business and entrepreneurs across Wales.
The First Minister will provide an update regarding our potential move to Alert level One later this week.