FIRST Minister Mark Drakeford has announced a start-up grant to support new businesses dealing with the severe impact of Coronavirus.

The fund will be worth £5m initially with flexibility for the future. It will support start-up firms, which fall outside the UK Government’s Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) as they only began trading in 2019.

Applications for this grant will open on June 29, at the same time as phase two of the Economic Resilience Fund opens to applications.

Mr Drakeford said the announcement will support new businesses in Wales which he says are currently falling through the gap of existing financial assistance schemes.

He added: “A number of people who have started a business in the last year don’t qualify for support from the UK Government’s Self Employment Income Support Scheme and it remains unclear if it will take steps to ensure they will change the criteria to help this group of people.

“This is why we have acted and set up a start-up grant. This has come from our work with Welsh Local Government Association and local authorities to look at what more support the business community needs at this time.”

The new start-up grant will support up to 2,000 businesses in Wales, with £2,500 each. This will provide crucial funding to people who established their businesses between 1 April 2019 and 1 March 2020, helping them to continue trading through the pandemic.

The grant will be administered by local authorities and businesses can check their eligibility by visiting the Business Wales website -