This page provides information on the current financial support available for businesses throughout the COVID 19 pandemic.
Grants currently available

All the below grants will be awarded based on businesses and organisations meeting the criteria for the scheme and on a first-come, first-served basis.

We ask that you are patient whilst the team undertakes the necessary checks, any duplicate or repeat applications may lead to a delay in your application being considered.  The council reserves the right to remove applications which are found to have been made multiple times to a scheme.

Once the funds have been allocated the council will close the schemes. In line with the funding guidance, there will be no process for appeal once a decision has been made. 

Officers are here to support and guide those interested in making an application. Any and all decisions will be made based on the information and evidence provided. If the council needs to contact you this will be via email. We ask that you check your junk or spam emails for any follow-up contact.

All grant decisions are final. There will be no reviews with the grants.

No grants currently available

How and when the grant payment will be made

We are expecting a high volume of claims for these grants. We will be clearing claims as quickly as possible in date order and aim to validate claims within 10 working days of receipt of all information required.

Our partners, Ascendant Solutions Limited, have provided the online application platform that is being used for the grants. The online application platform will be used to process your application.

We’ll send you an email to confirm we have received your claim and we will keep in contact with you by email.

The grant payment is payable to the claimant (ratepayer where liability for business rates). The payment will be paid directly into the nominated bank account and the details passed to payment processing the day after your notification of award email, which can take up to 5 working days to reach your bank account.

All grant payments are subject to income tax and the State Aid thresholds.

State Aid rules

You can find out about State Aid on the GOV.UK website.

As the award of relief and grants could be classed as State Aid, Local Authorities have a duty to consider and comply with European Commission State Aid legislation. Although the United Kingdom left the EU on 31 January 2020, under the Withdrawal Agreement, State Aid continues to apply during the transition period.

Contact us

If you need help with your grant application or have a general query, you can get in touch with us by emailing business.grants@wolverhampton.gov.uk or calling the business support phone line on 01902 290242 between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Thursday or from 9am to 4.30pm on Fridays.

Business Rates: Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund

The Government has announced a business rates support package for businesses which have been unable to benefit from the existing £16 billion business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. The £1.5 billion funding pot is being distributed amongst all local authorities and will provide businesses within Wolverhampton access to an additional £5million in business rates relief during 2021/22.

Following the release of government guidance, a scheme has been agreed for Wolverhampton, for more the details please visit Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF).

Grants now closed

The Council has received a high volume of applications which the team are considering.  If you have submitted an application and are awaiting a decision please bear with us while officers review and assess. Could we kindly ask that you refrain from contacting us as this time, to allow the team to undertake their reviews.

Omicron ARG Scheme

The Omicron ARG Scheme has now closed.

On 21 December 2021, the Government announced that a further £102 million would be made available for Local Authorities, through a top-up to the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG).

The grant is only for those businesses not supported under the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG).

Previous ARG beneficiaries will be eligible for consideration under this new scheme, providing they meet all the eligibility criteria listed below.

The Offer

The one off grant payment will reflect the bands applied in the relevant Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant.

An eligible business will receive - subject to the availability of funds - a grant based on evidence of its rateable value or that it incurs an annual fixed cost such as rent, lease or mortgage. Grant amounts will be awarded as follows:

Criteria for the Grant - Rateable Value or Equivalent Fixed costs, or home based

Level of grant

No Fixed Costs (Home Based/Self Employed)

£500

£15,000 or under

£2,667

£15,001 to £50,999

£4,000

£51,000 and above £6,000


ARG will only be available for those businesses, which cannot be supported under the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant and meet all the eligibility criteria.

All grants are subject to applicants meeting the eligibility criteria and applications will be assessed on a first come first served basis and subject to availability of funds.

All businesses will be required to provide the following:

  • Proof of occupation of the company, e.g. rent invoice/ recent utility bill
  • Proof of trading in December 2021
  • Proof of ID, driving licence or passport of person completing the form
  • Company’s latest bank statement (November 21 and December 21)
  • Declaration that the business has been severely impacted by restrictions, or by the Omicron variant, including those outside of the business rates system and do not qualify for the Omicron

Closing date

  • The scheme will close on 28 February 2022.

Ineligibility

  • Businesses that have continued to trade effectively and were not impacted by restrictions
  • Businesses in areas outside the scope of the restrictions as defined by Government will be considered.
  • Businesses that have already received grant payments that are equal to the maximum levels of State Aid permitted under the subsidy allowances.
  • Read more information about subsidy allowance on the GOV.UK website
  • Businesses that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking off notice has been issued
  • If the landlord is the rate payer of a premises which qualifies for the OHLG based schemes and the business owner are the same, this business will not be eligible for this grant.
  • Self-employed supported by ARG for the most by another local authority

*Please note that you can claim one grant per business and a self-employed individual can only be awarded one grant.

When applying please choose 'Omicron Additional Restrictions Grant'.

Relight Business Programme – Support Package and Grant

The scheme has now closed.

This grant will support the city’s businesses on the Relight Business Programme. The grant would enable SME businesses to undertake small investments as recommended from the Relight Business Programme, to assist with resilience and recovery.

The Relight Business Programme - Retail Improvement Scheme

The scheme has now closed.

City of Wolverhampton Council are looking to support independent retail businesses (which could include charity shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, takeaways, hair and beauty salons, professional services) to improve window displays and shop layouts through a 100% grant support programme of up to £5,000 per business. The grant scheme is on a first come first served basis.

Like for like schemes or general maintenance work will not be eligible.

There are a number of conditions to the grant which include:

  • A minimum of two quotes for the equipment will be required
  • Payment will only be made on completion of the work and bank account evidence being provided that full payment has been made to the contractor
  • Grant value to be no more than £5,000.
  • Any applications must not bring the Council into disrepute or harm our reputation
  • Planning permission/advertising consent may be required.
  • Grants must be claimed by no later than 25 February 2022.

Your business is not eligible if it:

is in administration, insolvent, or if a striking-off notice has been made; does not qualify under Subsidy Allowance rules; is part of a regional or national chain, with more than 5 outlets; operates from residential premises; or is in the gambling or sex industry sectors

Funding will be allocated to eligible projects based on an application and assessment procedure. Eligible works could include:

  • New/Improved shop window display and shop layouts
  • Repainting of shop fronts in suitable colours
  • Signage
  • Internal lighting (subject to planning permission)
  • Internal security grilles and/or security glazing (subject to planning permission)

Grants will pay for the eligible project cost up to a maximum of £5,000. Applications cannot be made retrospectively, so works should not commence on-site before a grant offer is accepted.

The type of works that would not normally be funded include:

  • Professional fees associated with the development and delivery of the project, including planning application fees, consultancy fees and advisory services
  • Pedestrian access improvements
  • Repointing
  • Repair and cleaning of external stonework and brickwork
  • Repair and reinstatement of guttering and down-pipes
  • Externally mounted security features.

It is important you don’t start your project before your application is considered or approved. Funding cannot be applied retrospectively, which means you cannot apply for work that has already been done. Priority will be given to applications that make the greatest impact and benefit to the BID and other retail environments.  It is a competitive fund with eligible criteria.  The number of grants awarded depends on the number of applications received that are successful.

The Relight Business Programme - Low Carbon Grant Scheme

The scheme has now closed.

The Grant Offer

City of Wolverhampton Council is looking to support businesses through a 100% grant support programme of up to £5,000 per business to support the recovery of the local economy through improving efficiency and encouraging local businesses to take steps towards net zero carbon.

It is for businesses in all sectors operating from commercial premises in Wolverhampton who are looking to improve resource efficiency or implement new processes that help the business move towards net zero carbon. Applicants must be able to demonstrate how they are moving towards net zero carbon and have a positive impact on their business. Grants will be offered on a first come first served basis.

There are a number of conditions to the grant which include:

  • A minimum of two quotes for the equipment will be required
  • Payment will only be made on purchase of the equipment and bank account evidence being provided that full payment for the equipment
  • Grant value to be no more than £5,000.
  • Any applications must not bring the Council into disrepute or harm our reputation
  • Grants must be claimed by no later than 25 February 2022.

Your business is not eligible if it is in administration, insolvent, or if a striking-off notice has been made; does not qualify under Subsidy Allowance rules; or operates from residential premises

Funding will be allocated to eligible projects based on an application and assessment procedure. Eligible works include equipment or services which support the move towards the net zero carbon impact in your business.

Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant

The scheme has now closed.

The scheme provides additional economic support to hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses most impacted by the Omicron Covid-19 variant.

To be eligible for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant your business must:

  • Be liable to pay business rates for the premises your business occupies
  • Provide in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in the fixed rate-paying premises, in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors
  • Have been trading on December 30, 2021
  • Not be in administration, insolvent or subject to a striking off notice
  • Not have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted subsidy allowances.

Hospitality

A hospitality business can be defined as a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink, using the following criteria:

  • Businesses offering in-person food and drink services to the general public.
  • Businesses that provide food and/or drink to be consumed on the premises, including outdoors.

The definition of a hospitality business should exclude food kiosks and businesses whose main service (generating 50% or more of income) is a takeaway.

Leisure

A leisure business can be defined as a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out, using the following criteria:

  • Businesses that may provide in-person intangible experiences in addition to goods.
  • Businesses that may rely on seasonal labour.
  • Businesses that may assume particular public safety responsibilities.
  • Businesses that may operate with irregular hours through day, night and weekends.

The definition of a leisure business should exclude: all retail businesses, coach tour operators, tour operators and gyms and sports businesses where physical exercise or training is conducted on an individual basis or group basis.

Accommodation

An accommodation business can be defined as a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel or other purposes, using the following criteria:

  • Businesses that provide accommodation for ‘away from home’ stays for work or leisure purposes.
  • Businesses that provide accommodation for short-term leisure and holiday purposes.

The definition of an accommodation business excludes private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes and residential family centres.

Application window

The scheme will close for applications on March 18, 2022 and all final payments must be made by March 31, 2022. Grants cannot be awarded or offers issued after March 18, 2022.  Therefore apply early, as if there is insufficient time to complete your application and for it be processed before 18 March 2022 you will not receive the grant.

What Grant will you get?

The amount of grant you will get depends on the rateable value of your business on December 30, 2021:

Rateable value on 30/12/2021

One off grant payable

£15,000 or less

£2,667

£15,001 to £50,999

£4,000

£51,000 and above

£6,000

Grant income received by a business is taxable and will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business.

When will I get the grant?

Your application will be assessed as quickly as possible with the aim of paying the funds into your business bank account within 21 working days of receiving your application.
The Council is required to undertake pre-payment checks for all payments.

The table below sets out types of businesses that are eligible under the sector thresholds for this scheme. This list is not exhaustive, but indicative of the types of businesses that can be supported under this scheme.

Support type

Types of businesses

Hospitality

  • Food courts
  • Public houses/pub restaurants
  • Restaurants
  • Roadside restaurants
  • Wine bars
  • Cafés

Leisure

  • Casinos and gambling clubs
  • Cinemas
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Stately homes & historic houses
  • Theatres
  • Zoos & safari parks
  • Amusement parks
  • Wedding venues
  • Events venues
  • Night clubs & discotheques
  • Arenas
  • Concert halls
  • Tourist attractions
  • Theme parks
  • Amusement arcades
  • Soft play centres or areas
  • Clubs & institutions
  • Village halls & scout huts,
    cadet huts, etc.

Accommodation

  • Caravan parks
  • Caravan sites and pitches
  • Chalet parks
  • Coaching inns
  • Country house hotels
  • Guest houses
  • Hostels
  • Hotels
  • Lodge
  • Holiday apartments,
  • Cottages or bungalows
  • Campsites
  • Boarding houses
  • Canal boats or other
    vessels
  • B&Bs
  • Catered holiday homes
  • Holiday homes
COVID Compliant Scheme Grant

The scheme has now closed.

This grant provides support for businesses, community organisations, sports and social clubs, independent traders and sole traders to invest in Covid safe practices.

COVID Compliant businesses

It will be awarded in conjunction with advice and guidance from the Council’s Covid Compliant team and members of the Environmental Health service. Businesses will receive a Covid Safe Sticker to demonstrate to customers and clients, they are compliant.

Premises must be COVID Compliant to apply. This grant is available to all Commercial Businesses, Hospitality venues, Hotels, Soft Play and Indoor Family Entertainment venues, Close Contact Physical Services, Voluntary Sectors or Charities, Independent or Sole traders, Volunteer-led Sports Clubs and Physical Activity Providers.

All the above mentioned services will be referred to as "businesses" throughout this application.

How much will I get?

Eligible businesses can now secure grants of up to £2,000 from the Covid Compliant Scheme. This is to help fund:

  • cleaning supplies,
  • hand sanitiser
  • other practices to help reduce the spread of the virus

It can help put in place priority actions and key recommendations identified within the COVID 19 Response: Living with COVID – 19 Plan and working safe guidance.

Hospitality venues with a capacity of 150 or more will be eligible for £2,000. This includes:

  • pubs
  • nightclubs
  • banqueting suites
  • bars

Smaller venues with less than 150 capacity are eligible for £1,500. This includes, but are not limited to, premises such as:

  • faith settings
  • community centres
  • hospitality venues with rooms for hire

All other venues or services will still be eligible for:

  • 5 or less employees - £500
  • 6 or more employees - £1,000

This includes

  • the self-employed
  • retail sites
  • close contact services
  • gym and leisure
  • offices and contact centres
  • mobile workers

You will only receive payment if you pass our business assessment.

The Environmental Health Officer will assess that safe working measures are in place, in line with your COVID 19 workplace risk assessment, and government guidance.

Previous applicants

Businesses that have previously received a grant from the Covid Compliance Scheme prior to December 8, 2021, are eligible for additional funds.

Volunteer-led Sport and Physical Activity Providers

The City of Wolverhampton Council is supporting sport and physical activity providers to deliver activities in a COVID safe way and help to increase the number of people undertaking weekly lateral flow tests. If you are a volunteer-led or a non-for-profit provider of sport and physical activity in the city you are eligible to apply for a one-off £1000 grant to aid COVID recovery, ensure you are practicing in a safe manner and to support your group to encourage and provide tests to your members and participants.

Applications are being accepted until the 31st March 2022.

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