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Your Network of Opportunity

Lockdown Business Fund - APPLICATIONS OPEN AT 3PM ON 28TH OCTOBER 2020

This is a fund to provide financial assistance to businesses that are facing operational and financial challenges caused by the national lockdown announced for Wales as a result of COVID-19.

The purpose of the fund is to support businesses with cash flow support to help them survive the economic consequences of the restrictions put in place.

The grant will be open to applications from the 28th October and will close at 5pm on the 20th November or when the fund is fully committed.

The fund consists of two separate grants:

Lockdown Non Domestic Rate Grant

This grant is available to businesses liable for paying business rates.

Grant 1

A grant of £5,000 is being made available for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses that have been forced to close (as defined by the regulations) and occupy properties with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000.

Grant 2

A grant of £1,000 is being made available to all businesses eligible for small business rates relief (SBRR) in Wales with a rateable value of up to £12,000 (see guidance document for further detail).

Businesses eligible for small business rates relief that have been subject to local restrictions for 3 weeks or more and have been materially impacted (>50% reduction in turnover) up to the 23rd October will be eligible for a further grant of £1,000

and Businesses eligible for small business rates relief that have been forced to close (as defined by the regulations) as a result of the national firebreak lockdown will also be eligible for a further top up grant of £2,000 from their local authority.

You are not eligible for this grant if:

  • You are eligible for, or have received, the Lockdown Discretionary Grant from your Local Authority

You will need to be on the NDR rating list for your local authority on 1 September 2020 and will need to complete a simple registration form to receive this grant.

For further information on this grant please read the Lockdown Non Domestic Rate Grant Guidance Document (insert link to doc).

Lockdown Discretionary Grant

Grant amount 1 - a discretionary grant of £1,500 is available to assist businesses that have:

  • Been forced to close (as defined by the regulations) as a result of the national firebreak lockdown
  • OR are able to demonstrate that the national firebreak lockdown will result in at least a 80% reduction in their turnover for that period

    Grant amount 2 - a discretionary grant of £2,000 is available to assist businesses that have:

  • Been forced to close (as defined by the regulations) as a result of the national firebreak lockdown
  • OR are able to demonstrate that the national firebreak lockdown will result in at least a 80% reduction in their turnover for that period

    AND have been subject to local restrictions for 3 weeks or more up to the 23rd October and experienced at least a 50% reduction in their turnover for that period.

You cannot apply for Grant 1 and Grant 2.

You are not eligible for this grant if:

  • You are eligible for, or have received, the Lockdown Non-Domestic Rate Grant from your Local Authority

For further information on this grant please read the Lockdown Discretionary Grant Guidance Document.

Applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis. This may lead to applications not being appraised after they have been submitted if the fund is fully committed.

CLICK HERE to access application forms

Cultural Fund grant

Phase 2 of the fund for all applications in every Local Authority will open on Monday 19 October at 10am. The Freelancer Grant was always planned to be delivered over 2 phases to allow those freelancers who needed more time to be apply to be able to do so. The length of time phase 2 is open will be dependent on the number of applications received by each Local Authority.

ERF Phase 3 Business Development Grant

The ERF Phase 3 Business Development Grant will open for applications in the week commencing 26 October and remain open for four weeks. Use the Eligibility Checker to review the criteria prior to its opening.

Covid-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme

Support: Loans between £5,000 to £250,000 (maximum loan levels apply), 12 month capital and interest repayment holiday, no arrangement or monitoring fees, 2% interest fixed for 6 years (inc. 12mth holiday)

Eligibility: Businesses who have been trading longer than 2 years and can demonstrate that they were able to service that level of debt before the outbreak.

For further details, click on the Development Bank Wales link

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Support: Temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will support SMEs with an annual turnover of up to £45m, access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.  There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.

Eligibility: Business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year and meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

For further details, click on the CBILS link

Protection for businesses who miss rent payments

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction, the UK government has announced. These measures will mean no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the next 3 months. Please visit the GOV.UK website for further information

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis, all UK businesses are eligible.

To access the scheme businesses will need to:

designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal, this portal is not yet in place and we will publish details as soon as they are available (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund

The £5 million Enterprise Relief Fund will offer grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future.

For further information, click on the Prince's Trust Enterprise Relief link













Blaenau Gwent; home of the Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone