The latest wave of support for businesses affected by coronavirus has been announced by Economy Minister Ken Skates, as he launched a conversation with companies about what they need to respond to the outbreak.
The Minister also announced the Development Bank of Wales would be offering all its business customers a three-month capital repayment holiday to help them manage the financial fallout from the virus.
The Economy Minister will be having a series of conversations with business organisations and social partners about their needs as the Welsh Government works to develop a wider package of support to help companies to manage the challenges presented by the spread of the virus.
He said: “The continuing spread of coronavirus means we are all facing unprecedented pressures. The Welsh economy could be particularly affected because of the prevalence of manufacturing and the prominence of the automotive, aviation and tourism sectors.
“We can expect increased sickness rates among the workforce, consumer confidence and supply chain issues to present real challenges for companies in Wales.
“We are committed to supporting businesses. The capital repayment holiday for Development Bank customers is an important step and we are working on a wider support package to provide the reassurance and assistance the business community needs.”
Business Wales and the Development Bank of Wales are able to provide businesses throughout Wales with tailored support and advice about dealing with coronavirus, from financial and supply chain planning to advice on staffing issues. The Welsh Government is also talking to banks about what support they will offer businesses during this period.
Mr Skates, who is also Minister for North Wales, said: “We committed that every penny of the funding which will come to Wales as a result of the UK Budget announcement about non-domestic rates relief in England| will be used to support businesses in Wales.
“We are urgently seeking clarity from the UK Government about the package of funding available for the emergency coronavirus response so we can develop our business support.
“We will do all we can to protect the Welsh economy and support Welsh businesses.”
Giles Thorley, CEO of the Development Bank said: “We recognise that cashflow management will be a real and urgent issue for small businesses in the coming weeks. This is why we have implemented this measure to relieve that pressure quickly and effectively. The Development Bank of Wales currently has over 1,000 business customers and we are working hard to support them during this period. I want to reassure the market that we are ready and able to help Welsh business through this time of uncertainty. We will continue to review our approach as this situation develops.”