The Welsh government has announced a £500m Economic Resilience Fund, partly to help small businesses blighted by coronavirus.
The Economic Resilience Fund aims to plug gaps in the support schemes already announced by the UK government, including the Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, which will guarantee 80 per cent of people’s wages and income.
The new £500m Economic Resilience Fund will support firms of all sizes, including social enterprises, with a focus on those which have not already benefited from the coronavirus business grants already announced by Welsh government.
The £500m Economic Resilience Fund is made up of two main elements:
A new £100m Development Bank of Wales fund will be available for companies experiencing cash flow problems as a result of the pandemic and will provide loans of between £5,000 and £250,000 at favourable interest rates
Workspace provider Regus is facing criticism for charging rent on deserted offices to start-up businesses that have been ordered to shut by the government.
As the UK battles to contain the coronavirus outbreak global office space provider Regus continues to chase and charge clients for full rates, and has refused requests to terminate or suspend contracts.
It has sparked concerns that the organisation is putting “profit before welfare” in the wake of an ongoing global health crisis.
The head of partnerships at one company still paying in full for rent of their empty office space said: “It’s deeply worrying, distressing and disappointing that despite the challenges at present for many businesses across the UK, Regus have offered no formal or official communication to tenants, who are mainly small businesses, during this time.
“They have offered no reassurance that rent breaks will be considered. It is also worrying that, despite government
Next will be shutting down its online operations from tonight amid the nation’s coronavirus outbreak.
The high-street fashion chain confirmed it would be closing down its online stores after workers raised concerns at being asked to come into shops and warehouses to pick goods during the coronavirus lockdown.
A statement from the company said it had listened ‘very carefully’ to the concerns of employees and it was apparent that ‘many increasingly feel that they should be at home in the current climate.’
Bosses have faced sustained pressure from politicians and staff, who felt like they were being pressured into stores.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that the company had offered a 20 per cent pay rise to any worker willing to continue picking jumpers, socks and other clothes for customers.