Development Bank of Wales
The Welsh Government and the Development Bank of Wales have announced the £100m Covid-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme to support businesses affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. The Scheme will be available from the Development Bank of Wales for a limited period. It is intended to provide support to businesses who are experiencing cashflow difficulties as a result of the pandemic.
The loan scheme will work alongside the UK wide Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, other Welsh Government and UK Government support offers, providing more vital options for Welsh businesses. Loans of between £5,000 and £250,000 are available to businesses who have been trading longer than 2 years and can demonstrate that they were able to service that level of debt before the outbreak.
• £100m fund
• 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)
Details of the fund, eligibility and application process can be found on the Development Bank of Wales’s website https://developmentbank.wales/
Economic Resilience Fund
Businesses can also benefit from a £400 million emergency pot providing:
• grants of £10,000 for micro-businesses employing up to nine people. This includes sole traders employing staff. Qualifying businesses will be able to apply by mid-April.
• grants of up to £100,000 for small and medium sized firms with between 10 and 249 employees. Qualifying businesses will be able to apply by mid-April.
• support for larger Welsh companies, which are of critical social or economic importance to Wales. This element will be open to qualifying businesses within the next two weeks.
Details of the application process and eligibility are being finalised and will be published shortly.
Welsh Government Business Grants
The Welsh Government has announced a £1.4bn support package for all businesses listed on the business rates register, covering Business Rate Relief and Business Grants
The Business Grant has 2 different components.
Grant 1 : For retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in Wales, a grant of £25,000 will be offered for businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000.
Grant 2 : For all other sectors the Welsh Government package also provides a £10,000 grant to all businesses eligible for Small Business Rates Relief with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.
Local authorities are administering these two grants in Wales. To enable quick and efficient payments, you will need to confirm some details with your local authority.
For more information click here. Please do not try to call your local authority. The information you need will be available on-line.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis, all UK businesses are eligible.
To access the scheme businesses will need to:
- designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
- submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal, this portal is not yet in place and we will publish details as soon as they are available (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)
HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.
Business Interruption Loan Scheme
A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, covering a variety of different products such as loans, overdraft, invoice finance and asset finance, delivered by the British Business Bank, has launched on the 23 March to support primarily small and medium sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value. Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments.
Further details can be found at: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/
Protection for business who miss rent payments
Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction, the UK government has announced. These measures will mean no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the next 3 months. Please visit the GOV.UK website for further information
Statutory Sick Pay Support
The UK Government is bringing forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to coronavirus. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:
- this refund will cover up to two weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
- employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible - the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
- employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
- employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note
- the eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to those staying at home comes into force
- the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible