Final report into Welsh Covid-19 financial support shows high level of continued trading

Research and Partnership Manager

The final report on financial support during the Covid-19 pandemic by Economic Intelligence Wales shows nearly all of the businesses surveyed who received financial support from the Welsh Government are still trading today. 

Jointly commissioned by Economic Intelligence Wales, the Development Bank of Wales and the Welsh Government, the report by Cardiff Business School is the fourth in a series which looks at the effectiveness of Welsh Government interventions during the Covid-19 pandemic - including the Economic Resilience Fund (ERF), the Covid Wales Business Loan Scheme (CWBLS) and Start-Up Grants (SUGS).

It follows analysis from three earlier reports covering the support schemes, comparing more recent survey results to those included in earlier reports.

Some of the key highlights identified in the report include:

  • 94% of businesses who had received initial support are still trading – a slightly higher rate than across Welsh businesses more generally;
  • Nearly half (46%) of businesses in receipt of ERF Phases 3-7 developed new products or services in response to the pandemic;
  • 22% had seen employee numbers grow since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020;
  • 20% had increased their turnover by up to 20%;
  • 86% agreed that support received was as important as the UK Government’s furlough schemes in safeguarding employment.

The report shows that Welsh Government support during the pandemic had a measurable impact by safeguarding and supporting employment in some of Wales’ worst affected industries and regions. There was also evidence of a sustained recovery among the beneficiaries, with negative pandemic impacts not being experienced to the same severity as those in the wider economy.

The full report is available here Covid-19 Welsh Government financial interventions - Dev Bank (

Jeremy Miles, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Energy and Welsh Language, said: "It is a source of great pride to see that our Economic Resilience Fund has helped protect jobs and support the business community through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. 

“It’s particularly pleasing to note that this support has made positive contributions in some of the areas and industries most at risk from the long term affects of Covid, enabling businesses to grow and placing them on firmer ground to continue to thrive."

Giles Thorley, Chief Executive of the Development Bank of Wales, said: “This detailed assessment of the support provided by Welsh Government during the Covid-19 pandemic plays a hugely important role in allowing us to understand what worked, and to inform the design and implementation of any similar interventions in future.

“Although it was an incredibly challenging time, we at the Development Bank of Wales are proud of the role we played in getting vital support to businesses when they needed it via CWBLS, and will continue to work alongside all partners to support businesses in Wales.”

Professor Max Munday, of Cardiff Business School and one of the authors of the report, said: “The findings from the analysis were very encouraging in terms of the role of Welsh Government and Development Bank support through the whole period of Covid-19. Particularly encouraging were the significant numbers of firms who had used support to innovate their business processes to deal with the challenges of Covid.”