Economy Minister, Ken Skates has today announced an additional £121m of funding as part of the Welsh Government’s commitment to helping businesses of all sizes develop and invest for the future as they navigate the challenges of Brexit.
The significant business finance, which will be delivered by the Development Bank of Wales, will see £16.2m earmarked for micro loans of between £1,000 and £50,000 for both established and start-up businesses, £50m for a dedicated Tourism fund to ensure we build on our world class reputation as a visitor destination and £55m for commercial property to encourage SME developers to invest in Wales and the commercial market.
Economy Minister Ken Skates said:
"The coming weeks and months are absolutely pivotal to the future of the Welsh economy, and I am pleased that following a lot of hard work from Welsh Government we are entering them with our labour market in excellent health.
Employment in Wales is at a record high, more businesses than ever before are active in our economy and the rates of economic inactivity are, for the first time ever, now lower than the UK average. However we know that these successes do not make us somehow immune to the immediate challenges and uncertainties surrounding our exit from the EU.
Brexit, in whatever form it takes, will mean a fundamental shift in the way many of our companies do business and we are exploring all options at our disposal and mobilising every possible resource to ensure businesses of all sizes, and from across Wales, have access to the finance they need to help them adjust and thrive.
This additional £121m is central to this. It’s a significant boost to the development bank’s funding pots, which now stand at over half a billion pounds, and which have proven to be both popular with businesses and successful in delivering for our economy. It will build on the good work of the Development Bank, Business Wales and others in ensuring Welsh businesses, and those looking to invest here, have the support they need to succeed and will ensure that post-Brexit Wales continues to be an attractive place for businesses, employees and visitors alike."
Giles Thorley, Chief Executive of the Development Bank of Wales said:
Accessible finance is an important factor in ensuring businesses are well placed to deal with any uncertainty during Brexit, which is why we are pleased to have worked with the Welsh Government to secure this additional funding.
The new funds will complement existing funding packages available from the Development Bank of Wales bringing our total capital available to businesses based in Wales to more than £450m and providing all businesses with the tools they need to securely navigate this period. Outcomes may be unclear, but we know business owners are resilient and agile and we are passionate about supporting them and making sure that Wales remains an attractive and competitive place to be an entrepreneur.”