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30.03.20

Economic Resilience Fund worth £500m announced by Welsh Gov

First Minister of the Welsh Government Mark Drakeford has announced a new £500m fund today (Mar 30) to further support the Welsh economy.

In addition to the wider economy, businesses and charities facing an unstable period or decline in trade due to the current pandemic will be supported.

The Economic Resilience Fund will cushion the blow for those specifically in Wales, ‘plugging the gaps’ and supporting schemes already in place thanks to the UK Government.

Firms and social enterprises of all sizes will be helped, with specific attention going to those who so far haven’t benefitted from announcements.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“The pace at which the coronavirus pandemic is affecting our economy is extraordinary. Now, more than ever, government needs to do all it can to support the economy and business.

“The recent announcements by the UK Government provided some much-needed protection for many workers and their families in Wales. Only the UK Government has the macro-economic and fiscal levers to minimise the enormous damage this economic shut-down will do to the UK economy.

“But even with these interventions, there are elements of the economy, businesses and charities in Wales facing insolvency because fixed and operating costs – rent, residual salary costs, leasing charges for vital equipment and maintaining operations – cannot be met during this crisis.

“We made a commitment as a Welsh Government to fill the gaps and support the economy and businesses through this incredibly difficult time.

“This package of support provides further assurance to firms, charities and social enterprises that we will do just that – help them deal with the economic impact of the pandemic.”

The fund will provide ‘vital assistance’ focusing on two main elements, these include a new £100m fund for companies experiences cash flow problems, with loans of between £5,000 and £250,000 with ‘favourable’ interest rates.

A £400m emergency pot will also be made available, with grants of up to £10,000 for micro-businesses of up to nine people and £100,000 for SMEs between 10 and 249 employees within the next two weeks.

The Economic Resilience Fund will help to minimise the number of businesses closing their doors for good and instead support them through a ‘hibernation’ period.

 

Image: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/PA Images

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