AIM for GOLD

Business Support
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, our existing part-EU funded Business Growth and Grant programme has been re-shaped to focus on supporting business to adjust, stabilise then aspire for growth.

Check the AIM for GOLD eligibility criteria and Register here

Free Business Bounce Back Programme

Are you...

  • Eager to re-build your business, stabilise, then look for new opportunities?
  • Ready to join like-minded businesses to explore new markets, new ways to do business and be ready for the new world?
  • Prepared to commit the time to make this a reality over the next 2-4 months?

Then the free part EU funded AIM for GOLD Programme could be for you.

What you will get...

Our business experts will review your business, examine where you currently are, explore where you would like to be, then look at solutions of how to make this happen.

You will gain access to a number of the tools/solutions below:

  • Webinars: such as Building Resilience, Managing Cashflow, Adapting to Change
  • Business Surgeries: on multiple relevant subjects
  • Online coaching: on a 1-2-1 basis with experienced business coaches
  • Optional Workshop: on completing your grant application

Grants of up to £20,000 can be used for Capital purchases (30% match funding) and Revenue grants (50% match funding) aimed at building and producing stability, with an option for growth in the medium to long term.

Webinars, surgeries, and coaching delivered by experienced advisers from City of Wolverhampton Council’s Business Team and from a number of successful local businesses. Participants will gain the support they need to build resilience and capacity, and respond to the emerging needs in the market.


Starting a business based on passion for what we love and absolutely enjoy doing is fantastic. However, running a business without any sort of business understanding on the basics of how to operate was starting to cause problems and minor issues each year, once the business began to grow. We needed help. Our help came from the City Council’s Business Development Team.

Paul Jones, Owner, Good Start Jones

The new AIM for GOLD Programme explained

Back to Business Webinars

Whilst it will not be business as usual over the coming months there will be a need to re-focus back on to the main aspects of running a business. The impact of COVID-19 on the way we run our business will be with us for some time. How we market the businesses, finance the business and manage cashflow, manage and develop our workforce, innovate, and provide leadership will no doubt change – maybe for a matter of months, maybe permanently.

Building on the experience we have in delivering our AIM for GOLD Business Growth Programme we have revisited the content of the workshops that we run. A 3-hour interactive workshop has been condensed to less than one hour, and the growth focus has been replaced with a ‘building resilience’ focus. However, the delivery team remain the same – experienced in-house professionals with a wealth of business support experience. Alongside colleagues from local businesses who built their businesses, overcame challenges, sometimes failed, but always bounced back.

So, over the coming months we will run a programme of webinars revisiting the approach to marketing, finance, workforce development, innovation and leadership in light of COVID-19. Remember you are not alone, we are all in this together, and we will bounce back together. To support this, our webinars will have a facility to allow you to ask any questions on-line as we go along, if we can answer them there and then we will, we will also encourage ideas, views and comments and solutions from the other businesses participating. If we cannot help there and then we will follow up with an off-line call to you. Every week we will run two themed webinars, the link to register interest can be found below.

Register your interest

Back to Business Workbooks

To support the webinars, we have produced a series of workbooks revisiting the approach to marketing, finance, workforce development, innovation and leadership in light of COVID-19. These summarise the key points in the webinar, provide some top tips and can be used to apply the learning to your business.

Finance Webinar Workbook

Back to Work Surgeries

Within a supportive environment of peer to peer and specialist advice these interactive surgeries will allow you to share any concerns and issues on the challenges of getting your business back to work. We will run these weekly for up to an hour and limit them to a maximum of 20 participants to each surgery allowing everyone an opportunity to have their say.

  • Remember you are not alone, we are all in this together, and we will bounce back together
  • Your challenge is probably not unique, your question is never not worth asking, and your views will be valued by colleagues
  • Sharing your experiences may help others

Follow the link below for details of the next surgery.

Surgeries

Business Surgery

Capacity and Resilience Workshop and Grants

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, our existing part-EU funded Business Growth and Grant programme has been re-shaped to focus on supporting business to adjust, stabilise then aspire for growth.

Free Business Bounce Back Programme

Are you...

  • Eager to re-build your business, stabilise, then look for new opportunities?
  • Ready to join like-minded businesses to explore new markets, new ways to do business and be ready for the new world?
  • Prepared to commit the time to make this a reality over the next 2-4 months?

Then the free part EU funded AIM for GOLD Programme could be for you.

What you will get...

Our business experts will review your business, examine where you currently are, explore where you would like to be, then look at solutions of how to make this happen.

You will gain access to a number of the tools/solutions below:

  • Webinars: such as Building Resilience, Managing Cashflow, Adapting to Change
  • Business Surgeries: on multiple relevant subjects
  • Online coaching: on a 1-2-1 basis with experienced business coaches
  • Optional Workshop: on completing your grant application

Grants of up to £20,000 can be used for Capital purchases (30% match funding) and Revenue grants (50% match funding) aimed at building and producing stability, with an option for growth in the medium to long term.

Webinars, surgeries, and coaching delivered by experienced advisers from City of Wolverhampton Council’s Business Team and from a number of successful local businesses. Participants will gain the support they need to build resilience and capacity, and respond to the emerging needs in the market.


Starting a business based on passion for what we love and absolutely enjoy doing is fantastic. However, running a business without any sort of business understanding on the basics of how to operate was starting to cause problems and minor issues each year, once the business began to grow. We needed help. Our help came from the City Council’s Business Development Team.

Paul Jones, Owner, Good Start Jones

How to register

Following an initial quick application process, successful businesses will be registered onto the programme. You will be contacted so we can conduct a business review, which happens virtually.

Check the eligibility criteria and register here

Our COVID-19 Champions

Good Practice - Adapting to the needs of the NHS
Over the past few weeks we have been amazed and immensely proud as Wolverhampton companies have responded to the call to support the needs of the NHS and care sector. There has been some quick repositioning, re-engineering and re-prioritising to provide a range of equipment from ventilators through to PPE. Productive capacity has been re-focused and scaled up and much needed vital equipment is now with local hospitals and care workers. If you are supporting the NHS and want to share your story please email details to: business.development@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Here are just some of the great stories of our COVID-19 Champions:

  • Airguard Filters - manufacturer of all types of industrial and HVAC filters were “called to arm” to produce PPE for the NHS frontline staff. Within 7 days they were manufacturing and supplying single use coveralls and surgical gowns for Royal Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Dudley CCG, Hereford Worcester CCG, Worcester Acute NHS as well as Wolverhampton City Council.
  • Medical Devices Technology Industries – developing a community portal ventilator, carrying out the design and testing and purchasing of a 3D printer to make the ventilators with a third-party manufacturer.
  • Bluesky Cosmetics – within days of the lockdown, this innovative cosmetics manufacturer added production of hand sanitiser to their product portfolio and sourced essential PPE to support regional NHS and Councils.
  • Metal Finishers – scaffolding company now helping supply face masks to the NHS. The PPE is made in a factory next door to the one Metal Sprayers has a joint venture agreement with in China. As such they know the factory owners well. When the virus hit, the company alongside the local temple started a fundraiser to help buy masks and gift to the NHS. They purchased the first batch of masks and had them air freighted over to the UK for distribution to the NHS.
  • DIS - have been printing material patterns so that volunteers can make scrubs for NHS staff to purchase at cost from volunteers (it covers the cost of buying the material not the labour to make these).
  • Ten Point Nine Tailoring - have been making cotton masks for NHS staff, plus making take home bags which the NHS staff remove their work wear into before leaving work and can then put into the washing machine without touching the garments making it safer for them to take home their work wear.

Our COVID-19 Leaders

Good Practice - Adapting the Business Model
Over the past few weeks we have also been impressed with the number of companies that have either revisited or had already adapted their business model. Whilst we appreciate this was simply not possible for some companies, and beset with challenges for others, we did think there was merit in sharing examples of those who were adapting to the economic environment presented by COVID-19.

Some of these we have picked up through LinkedIn, some via the wider media, and some from our direct contacts. If you want to share what you are doing to adapt your business model or operating arrangements, how you have continued trading through new products, services, markets, or how you are planning to bounce back over the coming weeks, then please share with us at: business.development@wolverhampton.gov.uk

In the meantime, here is the first of our featured companies who are adapting...could you learn from any of these?

  • ASH Plastics – manufacturer of retail display stands now producing clear plastic guards for tills at supermarkets.
COVID-19 Cover - Gaps in provision

We are very conscious that not all businesses were able to access the Business Rates Grant, and/or have had difficulty accessing some of the loan schemes. Over the past weeks we have been talking to many businesses we have identified, collated and began sharing with Government those groups of businesses who still require help. This is bearing fruit as we have already seen the introduction of the new Micro Loan Scheme, and the additional funding to Councils for a more targeted application of the Business Rate Grant scheme.

We will continue to work through the appropriate channels to ensure Government is aware of any gaps in provision, but we also want to ensure everyone is aware of the other financial support that is available. Follow the link to the Government's Business Finance Support portal.

Business Finance Support portal

Small Business:Big Impact

Throughout the past 12 months, the City Council has teamed up with over a hundred small businesses to help identify and provide access to a range of business support to help them grow. Quite often it’s the high-profile projects such as Westside, the Interchange and Canalside Quarter and large companies such as JLR that get in the local press and attract wider media attention. And whilst these are important, so too are the thousands of small businesses in the city that employ less than 100 people; businesses that account for a staggering 97% of our business base, and businesses that we are keen to support. We are really pleased therefore to have the opportunity through our Small Business:Big Impact booklets to share with you some of the fantastic success stories of these businesses, the exciting things they are doing, products they are making, services they are providing and markets they are supplying.

We truly have a small business community to be proud of, one that drives our local economy but has a global reach, marries our traditional strengths with an innovative flair and keeps growing and creating new jobs.

In addition to the booklets we have produced highlighting the fantastic work of our SMEs, we are carrying out regular surveys to understand how they are responding to the current challenges, accessing the support available, and planning. To participate in the latest survey follow the link below.

Take our Survey

Here you can see the latest survey results.

Latest Survey Results

AIM for GOLD Success Stories

Contact us

Anyone with any business support queries should call the Business Support Line between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Thursday or from 9am to 4.30pm on Fridays.

Telephone: 01902 290242

Email: business.development@wolverhampton.gov.uk

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