COUNCILS in North Wales are helping companies in the region access vital business support during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Supported by North Wales Economic Ambition Board, the six local authorities in Gwynedd, Wrexham, Anglesey, Flintshire, Denbighshire and Conwy are working hard to inform organisations and the self-employed about the financial packages and benefits available to them following the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Welsh and UK Governments have announced an unprecedented set of measures to assist firms in the months ahead, including business rate relief, grants, access to finance and fiscal aid for employees and the self-employed.
In addition, the Welsh Government’s Business Wales and Social Business Wales services are available, as is the Development Bank of Wales, based in Wrexham.
The Welsh Government has announced a comprehensive £1.7bn package of support for businesses to help them deal with the coronavirus pandemic – this includes grants for small businesses, a year-long rates holiday and a new £500m Economic Resilience Fund for those companies not eligible for business support schemes.
The Economic Resilience Fund consists of two schemes:
A £100m business loan scheme being delivered by the Development Bank of Wales is already available for companies experiencing cash flow problems as a result of the pandemic. That will provide loans of between £5,000 and £250,000 at favourable interest rates.
And businesses will also be able to benefit from a £400m emergency pot, delivered by the Welsh Government, providing grants of £10,000 for micro-businesses employing up to nine people; grants of up to £100,000 for small and medium sized firms with between 10 and 249 employees, and support for larger Welsh companies, which are of critical social or economic importance to Wales.
Alwen Williams, Programme Director for the North Wales Economic Ambition Board, encouraged business owners, employees and the self-employed to explore the packages available to them and apply as soon as possible.
“These are uncertain and unprecedented times and we are already seeing widespread concern and businesses closing because of the pandemic, some of which will struggle to reopen the longer this goes on,” said Alwen.
“The measures put in place by the Welsh and UK Governments are far-reaching but demand for support will be high so it’s best to seek help quickly, do your research and fill out the relevant forms with as much detail as possible.
“The local authorities have signposts to these grants and the advice and guidance available so take a look at your local council website, try and speak to an expert and you should receive the help you need.”
“Together we can get through this and come out the other side stronger and more resilient than ever.”
Minister for North Wales Ken Skates said: “We are in exceptionally challenging times and the impact of coronavirus on the economy is serious. We have announced packages of support on an unprecedented level to protect our economy, businesses and workers.
“In North Wales, our dedicated regional team and Business Wales are in close contact with businesses to offer them guidance and advice. We are also working closely with partners, including the Economic Ambition Board and local authorities. By pulling together we can work through this difficult time.”
To apply for business support through your council and for the latest information from Business Wales, follow the links below:
Business Wales: https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice
Development Bank of Wales: https://developmentbank.wales/coronavirus-support-welsh-businesses
Health and charity: HSS.COVID-19.PlanningCell@gov.wales and firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a company and are unsure about what steps to take next fill out this short survey and a member of your local business support team will be in touch: