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Welsh Guidance

The Welsh Government has announced updated guidance for Wales. The guidance now permits non-essential retail to open. The advice on staying local has been dropped and sections of the tourism industry have been allowed to re-open.  

UK Government support for businesses

The UK Government has set out a package of measures to protect public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

Businesses in Wales could benefit from the following schemes and announcements:

1. Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees.

2. Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme via the British Business Bank. The scheme will be interest free for 12 months.

3. Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service.

4. Businesses will receive government grants worth up to 80% of wages to keep workers in jobs. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will pay up to £2,500 per worker each month, helping those who are self-isolating or caring for loved ones.

5. Millions of people across the UK could benefit from the new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, with those eligible receiving a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit.

6. Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments.

7. Businesses will be given an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.

Welsh Government support for businesses

Because some aspects of business support are devolved, the Welsh Government has set out a range of support measures:

Business support package

The Welsh Government has published details of its £1.4 billion business support package to help businesses across Wales.

Capital repayment holidays

The Welsh Government has announced the Development Bank of Wales will be offering all its business customers a three-month capital repayment holiday to help them manage the financial fallout from the virus.

Economic Resilience Fund

The £500m fund will support Welsh firms of all sizes, including social enterprises, with a focus on those which have not already benefited from the coronavirus grants.

 

Is there any further information on the businesses in Wales which are eligible for the leisure, hospitality and retail grant?

The Welsh Government has published guidance on the types of businesses that it considers should be eligible for this relief and, in its view, fall under the categories of leisure, hospitality and retail.

British Marine notes that this list is not exhaustiveOur team continues to do all it can to ensure our members receive the support they needThis includes working closely with key parties including Tourism Alliance on the issue of grant eligibility

We were pleased to see, though our work with the Tourism Alliance, the Local Government Association confirm that marinas, boat hire and passenger boat facilities, should, in its view, be eligible for the leisure, hospitality and retail grant.

We would therefore expect that our members which meet the LGA’s definition and the Welsh Government’s criteria on rateable value would be offered this support by their Local Authority.

British Marine would encourage its members to contact their Local Authority to confirm eligibility.

How does the support announced by the UK Government and the Welsh Government differ?

There are a number of similarities. The UK Government has created a separate website which sets out the details of all the support announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This website contains information on who can apply for each measure and whether it is UK-wide, or only available in England.  

Most of the measures announced by the UK Government are applicable to businesses in Wales. The key and notable differences include the administration of the business rates relief and grants. Other key differences include the wider Economic Resilience Fund. This is one further measure announced by the Welsh Government. 

Micro-businesses which can provide evidence that COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on their turnover can apply for a non-domestic rate grant, up to £10,000 in value, through the Economic Resilience Fund. However, this grant is only available to businesses which are not eligible for either of the Business Rates Grants or the self-employment measures. 

The Economic Resilience Fund set out £100m for a COVID-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme which is administered by the Development Bank of Wales. This provides businesses with loans between £5,000 and £250,000. The last component of the fund is £300m which has been assigned to support SMEs and large businesses. British Marine understands this Welsh loan scheme is now fully subscribed and would encourage its members to consider applying for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan instead, if required. 

Full details of the support for Welsh businesses can be found here.

 

I am a business based in Wales, am I eligible to receive a grant?

The Welsh Government has announced a further package to help small charities in Wales but has subsequently paused the Economic Resilience Fund owing to high demand. 

In Wales two types of grants are available to businesses affected by COVID-19. These grants are for businesses in the leisure, hospitality and retail sector. The other type of grant is for small businesses. This support can be broken down as follows:

Leisure, Hospitality and Retail

Like England and Scotland, businesses in the leisure, hospitality and retail sector will receive a 12-month business rates holiday. This applies to businesses in these sectors which have a rateable value of no more than £500,000. This relief is available from 1 April 2020 and will finish on 31 March 2021.
 
This policy means all eligible businesses will pay no business rates during this period. Guidance from the Welsh Government can be found here.
 
Businesses in these sectors could also be eligible for a £25,000 grant. To apply, a business must have a rateable value between £12,001 and £51,000. 

Small Businesses

Secondly, all businesses which are in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief in Wales, and which have a rateable value of £12,000 or less will be eligible for a £10,000 grant. Our members should be aware that the multiple property restriction applies to this grant. This means that a ratepayer can only receive a maximum of two grants within any one local authority defined area. 

You must apply for the grants through your local authority.

Our members do not need to apply for the businesses rates relief as local authorities will apply this discount automatically. More information on grant eligibility can be found here.

What is the position in Wales?

The Welsh Government's advice on staying local and within 5 miles of your home has now been dropped. We understand that the tourism sector has reopened.

British Marine wrote to the First Minister and members of the Tourism Cross Party Group to ensure its members could return to commercial activity as soon as possible whilst adhering to the guidelines on social distancing.