We are pleased to announce a Welsh Government (WG) update from James Richards, Research and Communications for Lesley Griffiths, our Member of the Senedd for Wrexham.
The Welsh Government’s Economy Minister, Ken Skates MS, provided an update to Members of the Senedd yesterday. You can view the statement in full here, but here are some of the key points:
The Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) was paused on 27th April, in part to process the numerous applications, but also to analyse its impact and consider the best way forward. Work is ongoing and the Minister expects the ERF eligibility checker to reopen in mid-June to allow companies time to prepare their applications. He then expects to open for full applications later in the month.
Phase two will operate in same way as phase one, but with an update to the micro scheme. This will enable limited companies that are not VAT registered to access the fund. The WG is also working with local authorities to support businesses that have not yet been reached, such as start-ups.
Some local outfits are still waiting to hear whether their application to the ERF was successful. There is a backlog, but WG officials have reiterated to Lesley that as long as businesses have a reference number, their application is being processed.”
The Minister stated yesterday he expects all the payments to successful applications from the first phase of the scheme to be completed before Phase 2 opens so hopefully all business will receive a verdict within three to four weeks.
The Minister also highlighted the significance of the UK Government’s Job Retention (furlough) Scheme, which has enabled large parts of the economy to hibernate throughout the crisis. No devolved government has the power to initiate a scheme of this magnitude. The Welsh Government believes it is essential the scheme is not withdrawn or scaled back before businesses have been able to properly restart their operations – ministers have expressed their feelings to the Chancellor and will continue to do so.
In total so far the total package of support stands at £1.7bn, worth 2.7 per cent of gross domestic product. It includes:
- a £100 million loan scheme to help more than 1,000 businesses through the Development Bank of Wales;
- a £400 million Economic Resilience Fund grant scheme, which, for phase 1, has attracted more than 9,500 applications with over 6,000 offers already made to date worth in excess of £100 million;
- the non-domestic rates-based grant support for small businesses and businesses operating in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors awarding to date 51,100 grants worth more than £626 million.
You can email James or call him on 01978 355 743.