Covid-19: Business support offer for Wales

The Welsh Government’s Covid-19 business support offer for Wales

Non-Domestic Rates Relief

All retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £500,000 or below will receive 100% non-domestic rates relief in 2020-21.

The following businesses will continue to get relief as follows:

  • Registered childcare providers receive 100% relief until 31 March 2022, during which time it will be evaluated to assess its effect.
  • Post offices with a rateable value up to £9,000 receive 100% relief and post offices with a rateable value between £9,001 and £12,000 receive 50% relief.
  • Hydropower projects with a rateable value up to £50,000 can apply for support towards their 2020-21 business rates.

https://businesswales.gov.wales/business-rates-relief-in-wales

 

Non-Domestic Rates Business Grants

The non-domestic rates grant schemes closed to new applications on 30th June 2020, the scheme made available two grants:

  1. A grant of £25,000 for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses occupying properties with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000.
  2. A £10,000 grant to all businesses eligible for small business rates relief with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.

 

Economic Resilience Fund

The £400m Economic Resilience Fund has supported businesses, including startups and sole traders that employ staff, social enterprises and charities that are not eligible for other Welsh Government Covid-19 non-repayable grant support schemes. The first round of the Economic Resilience Fund opened on the 17th April and was paused for review on 27th April. The second round opened on 29th June and closed on 10 July.

Eligibility for micro businesses for up to £10k support where:

  • Efforts to sustain business activities are demonstrated.
  • No funding support was agreed under phase 1 of the ERF.
  • Confirmation is provided that funding from any other Welsh Government Covid19 related non-repayable grant funding source is not being pursued.
  • In excess of a 40% reduction in turnover since 1 March 2020 has been experienced.
  • A sole trader is VAT Registered (or sector exempt from VAT) and PAYE registered employing between 1 and 9 employees (in addition to the business owner).
  • A limited company satisfies two of the following conditions:
    • VAT registered or sector exempt from VAT.
    • PAYE registered, which can include the Director/Owner if they are an employee of the company denoted by PAYE structure (not dividend).
    • Annual turnover exceeds £50k.
  • Not eligible for non-domestic business rate grant.
  • Operating address and employer in Wales.

Eligibility for SMEs for up to £100k support where:

  • Confirmation is provided that funding from any other Welsh Government Covid19 related non-repayable grant funding source is not being pursued.
  • In excess of a 60% reduction in turnover since 1 March 2020 has been experienced.
  • Not eligible for business rate relief, or if is, the amount would be deducted from any allocation from this fund.
  • Did not receive phase 1 ERF support.
  • Operating address and employer Wales.
  • A sustainable business plan exists to trade beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Has explored other forms of funding before applying to the ERF.
  • An undertaking is provided that for as long as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is in place, no future compulsory redundancies will be made.

Eligibility for Large businesses up to £690k in compliance with temporary State Aid rules where:

  • In excess of a 60% reduction in turnover since 1 March 2020 has been experienced, or a 60% reduction in turnover is forecasted between the time of application and the end of the project being supported.
  • Not eligible for business rate relief, or if is, then the amount will be deducted from any allocation from this fund.
  • Operating address and employing at least 40 people in Wales.
  • A sustainable business plan exists to trade beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Has explored other forms of funding before applying to the ERF.
  • An undertaking that for as long as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is in place no future compulsory redundancies will be made.
  • Agreement to match fund support.

 

Start-Up Grant

A £5m Start-Up Grant is supporting up to 2,000 start-ups with a grant of £2,500 each. The grant seeks to complement other Covid-19 response measures to support businesses, social enterprises and charitable organisations in Wales.

The eligibility criteria for the grant is:

  • Started trading between 1st April 2019 and 1st March 2020.
  • Forecast annual turnover less than £50,000.
  • Not in receipt of Self Employment Income Support, Non Domestic Rate Grant, Economic Resilience Fund
  • Businesses must be operating in Wales.
  • Businesses must have one or more of the following.
    • HMRC unique taxpayer reference (UTR) number.
    • VAT Registration Number or a VAT exemption certificate.
    • Written correspondence confirming registration with HMRC.
  • Have experienced a drop in turnover greater than 50% as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak between April and June 2020.
  • Supported businesses must aim to maintain employment for 12 months.

https://fundchecker.businesswales.gov.wales/

 

Covid-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme (CWBLS)

The £100m Covid-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme, delivered by the Development Bank of Wales, was available for companies experiencing cash flow problems to provide loans of between £5k and £250k at favourable interest rates. The scheme closed on 30 June.

Key features:

  • Loans between £5,000 to £250,000, maximum loan levels apply
  • 12-month capital and interest repayment holiday
  • No arrangement or monitoring fees
  • 2% interest fixed for 6 years (includes the 12 month holiday)
  • Partially secured lending depending on the size of the loan, see below for details.

 

Third Sector Covid-19 Response Fund

The £24m Third Sector Covid-19 Response Fund is supporting third sector organisations and the volunteers which enable our essential services to be delivered. The Fund supports three distinct areas of activity:

  • The Third Sector Resilience Fund is helping charities and third sector organisations financially through the crisis by providing direct financial support for third sector organisations which need help to get through this crisis by paying their bills and easing cash-flow.
  • The Voluntary Services Emergency Fund is helping more people volunteer and volunteering services by supporting third sector organisations in the community who are co-ordinating the enormous volunteer response we have seen across Wales, helping them to pay the out of pocket expenses of their volunteers.
  • The Third Sector Infrastructure Enabling Fund is strengthening the essential Third Sector infrastructure by enabling our funding of Third Sector Support Wales to temporarily increase its own capacity to support the sector, including the development of the Volunteering Wales platform.

 

Business Wales Covid-19 support and post covid-19 recovery

Business Wales proactively supports entrepreneurship through policies and programmes aimed at encouraging the creation, growth and sustainable development of micro businesses and SMEs. Business Wales continues to be available to support businesses through a range of support options during the current crisis and beyond with post Covid-19 support.

The Business Wales Helpline is providing practical information, advice and sign posting to businesses experiencing issues because of Covid-19, such as supply chain delays or staffing matters.

Business Wales now delivers all advisory support virtually, digitally and by telephone to support businesses across Wales, and delivers a series of live webinars to address challenges around accessing finance, managing cashflow, digital capability and diversification, managing change to employment.

Business Wales advisors have received mental health and wellbeing first aid training so they can offer advice and signpost to services to obtain support. Wellbeing is being embedded in our advisory support and engagement with business communities.

A core advisory service, complementing the helpline and digital offer with direct support through one-to-one relationship management, and workshop activities to pre-start, start and growth businesses. This also includes support to encourage uptake and effective use of superfast broadband.

Five regional Enterprise Hubs deliver a programme of entrepreneurial support services to aspiring entrepreneurs and early stage businesses that enables entrepreneurs to realise their business potential. They facilitate networking and mentoring between individuals and businesses and provide a space for entrepreneurs and innovators encouraging them to support innovation driven entrepreneurship. Support services include business angels; after-work classes; business surgeries; hackathons and pitching event.

https://businesswales.gov.wales/

 

Development Bank of Wales

The Development Bank of Wales is helping SMEs manage the challenges presented by Covid-19 and has loan and equity funding available immediately to Welsh businesses. The Development Bank of Wales has written to all of its customers and offered them a 3-month capital and monitoring fee repayment holiday on request.

The Development Bank of Wales has good relationships with the mainstream lenders and can work with high street banks on deals where the support of the Development Bank of Wales may make the difference between a business being able to move forward or not.

https://developmentbank.wales/

 

Culture Resilience Fund

The Cultural Resilience Fund provides help with urgent short-term pressures for museums, collections, archives and libraries, as well as self-employed conservation services, for example conservators and curators.

https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/culture-sector

 

Arts Resilience Fund

A £7m Arts Resilience Fund is available to help artists and culture organisations. Working with the Arts Council, the fund is supporting artists and arts:

  • Urgent Response Fund for Individuals for freelance artists and creative practitioners experiencing immediate financial difficulty.
  • Stabilisation Fund for Individuals for freelance artists and creative practitioners trying to survive the threat to their livelihoods.
  • Stabilisation Fund for Organisations for arts organisations working in the nonprofit sector in Wales who are experiencing immediate financial difficulty.

https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/culture-sector

 

Creative Wales Emergency Relief Funds

Grassroots Music Relief Fund is assisting the music industry to ease the financial burden across the industry to help venues, studios, freelancers and anyone else within the music industry affected by the shutdowns.

The Emergency TV Development Fund is providing financial support for indigenous independent production companies to utilise the time, during which production cannot take place, to develop projects which will put them in a stronger position to secure commissions once a normal mode of working resumes.

Funding is for projects intended for TV only. Film projects support is provided by Ffilm Cymru Wales for theatrically released projects developed by Welsh talent (writers, directors and producers).

The Emergency Digital Development Funding is providing financial support for games, animation, digital agencies and creative digital businesses to support the retention of Intellectual Property by indigenous companies, which will enable them to grow. Also to enable indigenous digital creative companies to develop new digital services and improve or introduce new platforms for the digitisation or distribution of digital content.

https://www.wales.com/creative-wales

 

UK wide Covid-19 business support offer from the UK Government