Cardiff Capital Region outlines its support for business during coronavirus pandemic

The Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) has outlined its work supporting businesses in South Wales affected by the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

It is working with the Welsh and UK Governments to keep them updated on the current experiences of South Wales businesses, while working to ensure the region’s businesses are kept informed of the support available to them and how it can be accessed.

The Covid-19 (coronavirus) disease has caused huge disruption to many businesses for the foreseeable future and with this comes the uncertainty of how they will cope.

During this time, the CCR wants to ensure that all messages for business support from the Welsh Government and UK Government are being properly communicated and will be cascading all relevant information through its channels for the benefit of the region’s businesses. It will also be working very closely with the CCR Economic Growth Partnership to consider targeted interventions from their investment fund to support companies in the region and fill in any gaps or intervene where more tailored packages of support are necessary. This will complement not duplicate Welsh Government and UK Government interventions.

Kellie Beirne, Director of the CCR City Deal, said: “For many people and businesses across Wales, this is a very uncertain time and the coming weeks and months will present a huge challenge to us as individuals, communities and businesses.

“Many businesses and sole traders will find it extremely difficult to navigate through the weeks and months ahead without coming under severe financial pressure.

“Many sectors will also be taking a hit as customers are advised to stay away with social distancing and self-isolation. This is why it is imperative we do all that we can do to help and support each other, which is why we must communicate the business support that is coming through Welsh Government and UK Government to ensure businesses in Wales know what is available to them and how to better plan for the next few months.

“We are constantly listening and ensuring our communities are kept up to date with the latest information as it happens, and in turn, we are speaking to key organisations such as the Welsh and UK Governments to ensure that they understand the issues businesses in South Wales are facing. We will also be proactively supporting our Local Authorities whose rightful priority right now must be saving lives and protection of the vulnerable.

“The CCR fully supports the help the two Governments have pledged to date. It is our intention to keep cascading what these announcements mean for business, and how those companies can access that support.”

Key support that has been released by Welsh Government and UK Governments so far includes:

  1. Britain Business Bank: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – a new loan that will launch Monday, 23rd March where Government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments, so businesses will benefit from lower initial repayments.
  2. Welsh Government – announced a £1.4bn package of support for small businesses, including a 12-month business rate holiday for small retail, leisure and hospitality business and grants of £25,000 for businesses in the same sector with a rateable value between £12,001 and £51,000. Businesses in all sectors eligible for Small Business Rate Relief with a rateable value less then £12,000 will get grants of £10,000.
  3. UK Government – announced a job retention scheme to cover 80% of salaries for businesses to retain their employees. The Chancellor also announced the deferment of the next quarter of VAT payments, increasing the Universal Credit standard allowance and cash grants of £25,000 for small business properties.
  4. The Development Bank of Wales – offering a three-month capital repayment holiday to their customers to help manage cash flow.

Cardiff Capital Region is working on making sure it’s as clear as possible to businesses how they can access these support schemes that are being put in place, and will be communicating this information to businesses through their channels.

In addition, the CCR and FORCardiff has issued a survey to help understand and identify key frustrations businesses are facing and the requirements businesses need to overcome this period of uncertainty. Businesses can complete the survey here

Kellie added: “The coronavirus pandemic is a test of the resilience of our communities. There are great traditions of mutual support and cooperation in our region that we can draw on. In Cardiff Capital Region, working together for the good of all is at the heart of what we’re about. Our ethos is that the region is not a success if the most in need are left behind.

“However, now more than ever is the time for entrepreneurship to come to the fore. We will need to pivot business models, diversify and innovate in order to survive in such turbulent times.

“While this time is uncertain for many, what is certain is that we must try to sustain our businesses and communities through the crisis and help them get back on their feet when the recovery comes. The work that we do as Cardiff Capital Region is all about providing the environment in which businesses can flourish, in every corner of our region.”