Eligibility Checker Reopens for Next Phase of the Economic Resilience Fund

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Economic Resilience Fund – Find out if your business is eligible for support from the next phase

Businesses can now find out if they are eligible to apply for financial support from the next phase of the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF).

The online eligibility checker has reopened and businesses will be able to make applications for support from this phase of the fund by the end of the month.

The ERF is designed to support businesses, social enterprises and charities, which are not eligible for other Welsh Government and UK Government support schemes.

The next phase of the fund will enable businesses to access a further £100m of financial support. It is being targeted at microbusinesses, SMEs and large businesses of critical economic importance, which have yet to receive financial assistance from the ERF.

Economy, Transport and North Wales Minister Ken Skates said:

“Our package of support for Welsh business has been absolutely vital in supporting thousands of firms through these exceptionally difficult times.

“Close to £200m has now been provided to businesses from the Economic Resilience Fund with all applications being processed.

“We are today reopening our eligibility checker for the next phase of funding. This will allow companies time to prepare their applications, ahead of the fund reopening for applications at the end of the month.

“The measures we have taken are in addition to the support available from the UK Government, making our package the most comprehensive and generous in the UK.

“This next phase will reach businesses which have yet to receive funding, but we know it won’t reach all those in need. We are proactively working on further options, but it is clear we need the UK Government to step up and provide the longer term and additional funding needed to see Welsh business through this pandemic.”

This latest phase will operate in broadly the same way as the first phase but with an update to the eligibility of the micro scheme. This will enable limited companies which are not VAT registered to access the fund, subject to other criteria being met.

Large businesses which have suffered more than a 60% reduction of turnover since 1 March 2020 may also qualify for funding if they meet other conditions. A further £10m has been available from the ERF to support larger firms.

To date, almost £200m of ERF funding has been distributed to companies across Wales, supporting a wide variety of businesses to deal with the impact of coronavirus.

This includes the Development Bank of Wales’ loan scheme element of the fund which has seen more than £90m offered or invested in 1,300-plus firms.

Work is continuing to develop further options to support those businesses which have not yet been able to access help, such as start-up firms not eligible for the UK Government’s Self Employment Income Support Scheme.

The eligibility checker for the next phase of the ERF is available at: https://fundchecker.businesswales.gov.wales

Micro businesses will be eligible for up to £10,000 of support from this phase of the fund if:
• Efforts to sustain business activities can be demonstrated;
• No funding support was agreed under phase one of the ERF or from business rate relief scheme;
• Confirmation is provided that funding from any other Welsh Government non-repayable grant funding source is not being pursued;
• In excess of a 40% reduction in turnover since 1 March 2020 has been experienced;
• Sole traders will need to be VAT and PAYE registered, as under phase one;
• For limited companies, the criteria will be expanded where two of the following are satisfied:
o VAT registered
o PAYE registered
o Annual turnover exceeds £50k;

• Not eligible for non-domestic business rate grant; and
• Operating address and employer in Wales.

SMEs will be eligible for up to £100,000 where:
• Confirmation is provided that funding from any other Welsh Government 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 scheme, or if it is, the amount would be deducted from the allocation from this fund;
• Did not receive phase one ERF support /non-domestic rate relief support will be deducted;
• Operating address and employer in Wales;
• A sustainable business plan exists to trade beyond the Covid-19 pandemic;
• Inability to access funding needed from a bank (including DBW and the British Business Bank) is demonstrated; and
• An undertaking that for as long as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is in place, no future compulsory redundancies will be made.

Large businesses will be eligible for up to £690,000 in compliance with temporary State Aid rules to be notified, matched by at least the same level of support from other sources, 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;
• Not eligible for business rate relief, or if it is then the amount will be deducted from the amount allocated 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;
• Inability to access funding needed from a bank (including DBW and the British Business Bank) is demonstrated;
• An undertaking that for as long as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is in place no future compulsory redundancies will be made; and
• Agreement to match fund support.