The Welsh Government has announced an additional £140m to help businesses deal with the economic challenges of Covid-19 and Brexit.
Of this, £20m will be ring-fenced to support tourism and hospitality businesses who are “facing particular challenges as they enter the winter months,” the Welsh Government said.
Economy Minister Ken Skates announced that the funding will come from the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF).
The aim will be to secure jobs and help businesses develop, as well as provide additional help for firms affected by local lockdowns, he said.
The Welsh Government said that it had already helped protect in excess of 100,000 jobs which might otherwise have been lost.
“Our Economic Resilience Fund has been absolutely crucial in supporting businesses throughout Wales in dealing with the economic challenges of the coronavirus and helping protect the livelihoods of more than 100,000 people,” Ken Skates said.
“The next phase of the fund, worth £140m, builds on that success, helping us to secure jobs and enabling businesses to continue to develop and grow in these challenging times. There is also a specific part of the fund earmarked to support businesses affected by local lockdowns.
“This additional help has been designed to complement and build on the support announced by the Chancellor last week, again demonstrating the Welsh Government’s proactive approach to go above and beyond in providing extra financial assistance that we know our businesses and workers need.”
The new phase of the ERF will see £80m being made available to support businesses. It will require co-investment from companies and a clear plan about how they will adjust to the post-covid economy.
Meanwhile, an additional £60m will be allocated to support businesses impacted by local lockdown restrictions.
The rest of the funding will be used flexibly to provide additional support, the Welsh Government said.
“We are going through a time like no other,” Ken Skates said. “Coronavirus and the increasing risk of the UK reaching the end of the European Union transition period without a deal have placed incredible challenges on our businesses.
“As a Welsh Government, we continue to do all we can to back our businesses, our workers and our communities.”
Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said: “The package of support we have provided for Welsh businesses has been, and will continue to be, absolutely critical as we move into the next phase of addressing this crisis.
“Today’s announcement provides reassurances to businesses at a time they need it most.”
The Eligibility Checker for companies to find out if they can access funding from the third phase of the ERF will be live during week commencing 5 October.