A new fund is being launched by the Welsh Government to back local businesses offering the goods and services that support the wellbeing of everybody in Wales, Economy Minister Vaughan Gething has announced.
The Backing Local Firms Fund will support businesses in parts of our local everyday economy, also known as the Foundational Economy, to deliver more of the products and services required by the public sector, helping to create more and better jobs closer to home.
The Foundational Economy is made up of locally owned businesses, rooted in local communities and providing fair work, covering sectors such as care and health services, food, housing, energy, tourism, construction and retail.
Estimates suggest four in ten jobs, and £1 in every £3 we spend, fall into this category. The Welsh Government’s Covid recovery plans commit Ministers to strengthening the foundational economy by increasing local spending and delivering projects to support jobs and businesses in communities throughout Wales.
The new £1 million fund is being used to help:
- tackle the current recruitment crisis in social care, with a focused national programme reducing recruitment costs and offering return to work opportunities to both those furthest away from employment and those facing unexpected life changes, such as redundancy.
- increase the amount of Welsh food served on public plates. This is being done by assisting local food producers and suppliers to attain accreditations required to access public sector supply chains.
- deliver plans to support local businesses to win contracts to fulfil the optimised retrofit programme and reduce housing’s carbon footprint.
The £1 million Backing Local Firms Fund will build on the success of the Welsh Government’s Foundational Economy Challenge Fund.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said:
“The Backing Local Firms Fund I’m announcing today will support businesses in parts of our local everyday economy to deliver more of the products and services required by the public sector, helping create more and better jobs closer to home.
“Our local everyday economy is the pillar which keeps our communities safe. The contribution it makes to the wellbeing of people across Wales is crucial. The coronavirus pandemic highlighted this more clearly than ever before.
“Nurturing the everyday economy is a cross-government priority and fundamental to our Economic Resilience and Reconstruction Mission. We want to create vibrant places throughout Wales, places where young people can realise their ambitions and reach their potential, places where anyone can launch and develop a thriving business.
“Strengthening our local everyday economy will enhance and enrich employment opportunities, enabling us to focus on retaining Welsh talent in Wales and securing the economies of our communities.”