City of Wolverhampton Council will start sending letters and emails from tomorrow (Friday 27 March) to the thousands of city businesses eligible to receive grants from the Government's Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

The communication will provide guidance about how to go online to provide information so that the following grants can be paid:

  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief, and have a rateable value of £15,000 or less; or
  • grant funding of £10,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value of £15,000 or below; or
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,001 and £51,999

The grant funding is expected to be with the council on 1 April, 2020, at which point claims can start being paid.

Councillor Harman Banger, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “Our small and medium businesses are critical to our local economy and we appreciate what a hugely challenging time this is for them.

“We are doing everything in our power to make the process of accessing these vital grants as smooth as possible and I would urge businesses to pay close to attention to the detail in the letter/email.

“We have staff on hand to support with any help and advice businesses may need in completing their online applications.”

A 12 month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England has also been announced by the Government.

Businesses who have been identified as potential recipients of the additional business rate relief measures will be excluded from the direct debit payment request for 1 April, 2020.

The council’s Business Rates Team is also taking the following steps in relation to the recovery of business rates:

  • suspending court action for recovery of business rates after 19 March
  • issuing reminder notices to encourage contact from businesses, so that we can understand their individual situation
  • suspending the issue of new cases for enforcement agent action
  • negotiating repayments where possible and/or agree to a hold in recovery action for a period where businesses are struggling