The COVID-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme is fully subscribed after more than 1,500 applications were received in just over one week.
The £100 million scheme was launched by the First Minister on Monday 30 March as part of the Welsh Government’s £500 million Economic Resilience Fund to support businesses in dealing with coronavirus outbreak.
The first loans were approved within three days of the fund launch, with the first loans reaching applicants by the end of last week.
The Development Bank, which manages the scheme, will be ensuring approved funds reach businesses as quickly as possible so support can get to those businesses facing unprecedented cashflow challenges as a result of COVID-19.
Welsh Government is now calling on the Chancellor to “respond and learn” from the success of the scheme and to provide additional funding to support businesses across Wales.
Economy, Transport and North Wales Minister, Ken Skates said:
“We fully understand that this is an incredibly difficult time for the business community.
“The Development Bank’s loan scheme has been absolutely crucial in helping businesses facing financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
“The level of demand in just over one week is clear proof that this was the right product at the right time. Whilst DBW would normally expect to complete around 400 investments over the course of a year, in little over a week they have received a staggering 1500 applications. I will be writing to the Chancellor calling on him to respond and learn from the success of the scheme and to release more funding so that we can launch a second phase of DBW support.
“It’s also absolutely vital that the UK Government put more pressure on providers of the Business Interruption Loan Scheme to get money out of the door and into the pockets of businesses. It is taking far too long to reach many firms and deliver exactly what’s needed in a time of financial crisis.
“As a Welsh Government, we will be announcing further details shortly on the £400m emergency pot from the Economic Resilience Fund with the aim of being open to applications next week.
“I’d like to thank the Development Bank of Wales. The entire team are doing all that they can, as quickly as they can to process the unprecedented volume of applications for funding. Whilst this loan scheme is fully subscribed, the Development Bank continues to offer a range of funding opportunities to the business community.”