Information and guidance for employers and businesses in Wolverhampton including support offered by City of Wolverhampton Council, Government initiatives to support the economy and links to additional useful information.
New Discretionary Business Grants Funding Scheme

On 1 May, the Government announced that it is providing local authorities with additional funding to target small businesses with high fixed property-related costs but that are not eligible for the current grant schemes. This includes:

  1. small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces e.g. industrial parks, science parks, incubators etc., which do not have their own business rates assessment;
  2. regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  3. B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates, and;
  4. charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Outline national eligibility criteria provided by the Government stipulates that the grants can only go to:

  • Businesses with ongoing fixed building-related costs
  • Businesses that can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Business with fewer than 50 employees
  • Businesses that were trading on or before 11 March

In addition, businesses that are eligible for the existing grant schemes or Self-employed Income Support Scheme are ineligible.

At this stage, we don't have the specific details of the scheme; additional eligibility criteria may be set. The Government will provide local authorities with guidance on this new scheme later this week.

In the meantime, we are developing a process for businesses to claim this new grant. Further information will be available here shortly.

Business grants information

Business Support Grants

We have contacted by letter and/or email all businesses that we believe will qualify for the Business Support Grants announced by the Government. 

This contact shows a four digit code and Business Account reference number eight digits, which need to be input here: businesscapture.wolverhampton.gov.uk

The information you provide will enable us to make the grant payment.  Please ensure the information you provide is accurate as this may cause a delay in processing your payment.

Checks will be made to ensure that payments are going to the correct business.  You may be asked for proof of your bank details, if you do not currently pay rates by direct debit.

Eligibility Criteria

Small Business, Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants

The Government has announced grants to support businesses in response to the Coronavirus, Covid-19. There are two schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).
To qualify for either grant you must be the ratepayer and in occupation of the premises on 11 March 2020.

1. Small Business Grant
For businesses in receipt of small business rates relief (SBRR) and have a rateable value of £15,000 or less:
The grant payable is £10,000 per rateable property.

2. Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grant
For businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure industry you may qualify for:
£10,000 if your rateable value is £15,000 or below
£25,000 if your rateable value is between £15,001 and £50,999.

3. The Grant will not be paid if:

  • It is occupied for personal use e.g. private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings, or used as a car park and parking spaces.
  • The business was in liquidation or insolvent on 11 March.
  • The property was not being used as a business on 11 March

If you are no longer responsible for the business, please email us at business.rates@wolverhampton.gov.uk advising:

  • The date you left the property?
  • Who is the owner/current occupier?
  • Your contact address and telephone number?

If the Council considers that an application may be inaccurate it has the discretion to withhold payment. In such instances, additonal checks will be made. For any fraudulent claims, the Council has the power to claim back any payments made and you may also be prosecuted.

You may be asked for proof of your bank details, if you do not currently pay rates by direct debit.

Frequently asked questions

A list of the answers to the most frequently asked questions has been provided by the government to help business better understand the relief schemes.


Business Rate Relief

If you occupy a retail, hospitality or leisure business, we will be applying the 100% discount for 12 months automatically and will write to you shortly with a revised bill.  You do not need to apply for it.

If we believe that you qualify, we will not be claiming your April Direct Debit payment.

Business Rate Payments

If you’re struggling to pay your business rates, please contact us so that we can discuss alternative options with you on business.rates@wolverhampton.gov.uk

If you’re eligible for any of the above discounts or grants, we will send you further information and a new business rates bill shortly. Any payments you make in the meantime will be deducted from your bill

This is what the government is doing to support businesses:

  • If you or a member of your workforce are worried about being able to pay tax as a result of Coronavirus, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
  • Statutory Sick Pay will be available from day 1 rather than day 4 and if you employ less than 250 people, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded in full by the government.
  • If you manage a pub, club or a theatre and have an insurance policy that covers you for pandemics, you’ll be able to make a claim.
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will support lenders to offer loans up to £5m with no interest due for six months.
  • If any of your employees have a zero-hours contract, please let them know they’ll be able to access Universal Credit and the new Employment Support Allowance.

Mortgage lenders will support customers who are experiencing financial difficulties by giving them mortgage holidays for up to 3 months.

To view latest package of measures announced by the Government please visit businesssupport.gov.uk/

Support for charity organisations
Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities

Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities is a short-term fund to support local communities across the UK in response to the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis. It will support organisational need rather than fund specific projects.

Applications will be accepted from organisations such as women’s refuges, food banks, hospices, homeless charities, charities supporting the elderly, and charities supporting children’s activities. This list is not exhaustive and other organisational types will be considered.

Tesco is looking to support organisations:

  • Whose need for services has been disrupted – for example a food bank whose stocks are running low and need an immediate donation to enable the food bank to restock.
  • Who need to put in place new services – for example charities setting up a new home service to the elderly who usually attend a monthly lunch club or a charity needing to set up a telephone service to support beneficiaries.
  • Finding increased demand – a holiday hunger club needs more resources due to schools closing, or a children’s centre needs an additional temporary staff member.

Due to the need to respond quickly to the emergency a streamlined application process and payment process has been set up to make it easier to get funds distributed quickly. Tesco expects to be making weekly awards to groups across the UK. This is a rolling programme. Applications can be made at any time during the next few months.

Barclays Launches £100m COVID-19 Community Aid Package

The Barclays Foundation has launched a £100m COVID-19 Community Aid Package of £100 million to charities working to support vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19, and to alleviate the associated social and economic hardship caused by the crisis.

The package is made up of two components.

Component 1 - Charity Partners Programme

  • A £50 million fund that will be disbursed principally in the UK, but also in Barclays’ international markets, including the USA and India.
  • Funding deployed via partnerships with trusted charities who can have a direct and immediate impact on the communities we wish to help in those geographies.
  • Funding to be targeted at programmes as local to Barclays major locations as possible – the places where Barclays colleagues live and work, and where they can potentially help directly.
  • The money will be used to help disadvantaged people (those suffering from social and economic deprivation as a consequence of COVID-19), the elderly and vulnerable communities most at risk from COVID-19, and to support NHS staff and other keyworker communities.

Component 2 – Employee Matched Donations Programme

  • A £50 million commitment. Barclays will match an individual colleague’s donations to charities working to support vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19, and in alleviating the associated social and economic hardship caused by the crisis.
  • A colleague may select a charity of his or her choice for their donation and matching programme, provided the charity is officially registered, and is engaged in supporting communities impacted by COVID-19.
  • Un-utilised corporate funds (any balance of the £50 million) at the end of 12 months would be deployed to the Charity Partners Programme so that Barclays meets its overall public commitment of a £100 million contribution to COVID-19 Community Aid.
Support for Arts & Culture
COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund

The COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund will provide support to the thousands of active workers and freelancers who have been hit hardest by the closure of film and television productions across the UK. Created by The Film and TV Charity in partnership with the BFI, the Fund is supported by initial donations totalling £2.5 million from Netflix, the BFI, BBC Studios, BBC Content, WarnerMedia and several individuals. The Film and TV Charity and the BFI is covering all overheads, enabling donations to go directly to eligible workers and freelancers across film, TV and cinema. One-off grants of between £500 and £2,500 will be awarded based on need. Applications are open for two weeks, closing on Wednesday 22 April 2020 (18:00 BST).

The Culture of Solidarity Fund aims to support imaginative cultural initiatives that, in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic, will reinforce European solidarity and the idea of Europe as a shared public space. It is open to individuals, collectives and organisations from all sectors and civil society at large with initiatives and ideas that:

  • Expand the notion of Europe as an open and shared public space for everybody in times of inward-looking and national decision-making.
  • Share experiences, knowledge, skills, stories, ideas and resources of solidarity across Europe, especially outside mainstream public attention.
  • Sustain people-to-people interaction beyond European borders and in times of travel restrictions and social distancing.
  • Maintain cultural life and social experiences with a European outreach in times of home lockdown and prepare the ground for a cultural revival of Europe after the crisis.
  • Develop new approaches in operations of cultural work and new alliances across sectors to deal with the current challenges imposed by the crisis.

Grants can be used for financing a wide range of activities ranging from seed money for entirely new initiatives to (co-)funding for scaling up already existing ideas to European level. They can cover material costs, office costs, online co-working and communication tools, production costs, and also expert fees and staff costs. Applicants can be based anywhere in the world, but their proposal must clearly contribute to a European Culture of Solidarity. Applications to the first round must be submitted by 27 April 2020 (12:00 CET).

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