City of Wolverhampton Council will launch a new grant scheme on Monday (1 June) to provide financial support for ‘micro’ businesses and certain other small firms which have been impacted by coronavirus but have ineligible for other Government help.

The council will launch its Discretionary Grant Fund at 12pm on Monday and full details of which businesses will be eligible will be published at Discretionary Grant for Small Businesses

The scheme is aimed at small and micro businesses who have been ineligible for other schemes.

The Wolverhampton scheme will prioritise those businesses in the city which have a small workforce, operate in shared premises, are regular market traders, small charities and bed and breakfasts which pay council tax rather than business rates.

Central Government has awarded City of Wolverhampton £2.3 million for the scheme – but firms are encouraged to get their applications in quickly because demand is expected to exceed the available funding.

The council will operate the scheme on a first come, first served basis until the fund is exhausted.

Details on the criteria can be found at Discretionary Grant for Small Businesses.   

Councillor Harman Banger, City of Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for city economy, said: “These grants are to help those small and micro businesses which have been hit hard by the impact of coronavirus, but have previously been unable to access other Government grants.

“Many of these sorts of firms have very small numbers of employees and often operate out of shared premises with other similar businesses. They are often start ups, the entrepreneurs who provide energy and innovation to our economy and which grow to become bigger employers and wealth creators.

“We will be publishing full details at 12pm on Monday 1 June at Discretionary Grant for Small Businesses of the full eligibility criteria, the evidence we require and a link to the application form.

“Please get your application in as quickly as possible, we fully anticipate that demand will exceed the money available and we will therefore have to operate on a first come, first served basis.”

Corin Crane, chief executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have been talking with the council to support them with this process.  The funds are limited but we know there are businesses which are struggling as a result of Covid-19.  It is really important that small businesses log on to the website at 12pm on Monday to see how they can apply for the council’s Discretionary Grant Fund.

“Demand is sure to be big and the council are clear that there is a limited pot of funding, meaning it is essential to get your application in quickly.

“We know these small and micro businesses, many of which have had to shut their doors or massively scale back their activities due to coronavirus, are desperate for help towards some of their costs.

“I’m delighted that City of Wolverhampton Council is launching a scheme to help this sector which is so important for the recovery of the local economy.”