Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Economy
Yesterday the First Minister confirmed that the Welsh Government would be making £120m available for nightclubs, events, retail, hospitality, leisure, tourism businesses and their supply chains impacted by the move to alert level two – double the £60m package announced last week.
The Business Wales website will be updated as the schemes role out and as quickly as possible.
The funding will take the form of three elements.
Non Domestic Rates (NDR) linked grants of up to £6,000. Businesses will need to re-register their details through a quick and easy online process in order to receive their payments. Registration will open via local authority websites from the 10 January 2022.
Local Authorities will also deliver a discretionary fund to support sole traders, freelancers and businesses who don’t pay rates, with grants of £500 - £2000.
The third element is a reopening of the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF). On top of NDR based grants, this fund will see grants of up to £25,000 made available for severely impacted hospitality and leisure business – and their supply chains. As with previous ERF rounds, this will support businesses who have seen a reduction in their turnover of more than 60%.
An eligibility checker will be available on the Business Wales website early in the New Year with applications during the week commencing 17 January.
The Welsh Government has decided to extend this support to non-essential retail so that smaller shops will be supported and our high streets can continue to thrive. In England, support is not available to non-essential retail.
The £120m package is designed to support businesses impacted by the spread of Omicron through the period 13 December 2021 to 14February 2022. This timeframe is linked to the expected impact of Omicron on Welsh businesses. It is not based on any expectation that restrictions will continue into mid–February. Ministers will continue to monitor the data and scientific advice that inform decisions on restrictions as part of the regular review periods.
On 21 December, the Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport and the Chief Whip announced that the Welsh Government is making £5.25m available to assist Wales' arts organisations, museums, libraries and independent cinemas most in need through the winter months.
Moving to alert level two will further impact businesses in the cultural sector. As the impact is better understood I have asked officials to develop a further round of the Cultural Recovery Fund, should it be required.
Further details about both these funds and how to apply will be announced in the new year.
As a result of the new emergency support packages, the Welsh Government is withdrawing its £35m Business Support Fund, announced in November, in order to process emergency payments as soon as possible. All existing offers will of course be honoured.
The Welsh Government will continue to monitor the impact of the spread of Omicron on businesses in Wales and will consider whether additional emergency funding is needed in the new year.
Notes - Non Domestic Rates (NDR) linked grant amounts for non essential retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses
- NERHLT businesses in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) and with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will be eligible for a £2,000 payment.
- NERHLT businesses with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000 will be eligible for a £4,000 payment if impacted by the restrictions.
- NERHLT businesses with a rateable value of between £51,001 and £500,000 will be eligible for a £6,000 payment if impacted by the restrictions.
- Qualifying supply chain businesses will be eligible for support if they have a greater than 40% reduction in turnover during the restriction period.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.