The deadline is approaching for local businesses to apply for financial support of up to £10,000 to enable staff to undertake regular rapid Covid-19 testing.

Wolverhampton's Business Testing Grant is available to any organisation which commits to over 75% of its workforce being tested for Covid-19 twice a week, either in the workplace, at a rapid test centre or at home.

Grants of £500 are available to businesses with 1 or 2 employees, £2,000 is available to those with between 3 and 49 employees, businesses with 50 to 249 staff can apply for grants of £5,000 and grants of £10,000 are available to those employing 250 workers or more.

Subject to meeting the eligibility criteria, businesses will receive 25% of the grant when they apply and the remaining 75% after they demonstrate they have met their weekly commitment to get 75% of staff tested twice a week up to the end of June.

Employers have until Thursday 30 April, 2021, to apply. Businesses which are expected to be able to open from 17 May under the Government’s road map out of lockdown are also encouraged to apply by 30 April. For more details, please visit Business Testing Grant.

Around 400 local employers have so far been approved, or started an application, for a Business Testing Grant and nearly £250,000 in up front and final payments has already been committed to those meeting the eligibility criteria. 

Richard Lawrence, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Director of Regeneration, said: “A third of people with Covid-19 don’t have any symptoms and could therefore pass it onto others unknowingly. Regular testing of employees will track down these cases and stop onward transmission, helping keep businesses and the wider community safe from this deadly virus.

"That’s why we are asking all employers in Wolverhampton to ensure that staff members who cannot work from home are able to access rapid testing twice a week, either at one of our public test centres, at home or through on site testing.

"The Business Testing Grant is intended to encourage businesses to embrace rapid testing and to help with any costs this might entail, for instance with PPE and cleaning for on site testing and time away from work to allow staff to get tested.”

Meanwhile, sole traders and the self employed can get a regular test either by using home test kits or at rapid test centres or the mobile testing unit, which this week is at West Park. 

Although booking at the rapid test centres is not essential, specific slots can be reserved up to 5 days in advance at Lateral Flow Testing for Businesses, enabling employees to access a test at a convenient time without having to wait.

Businesses with questions about rapid testing for their workforce should email Further advice and guidance on operating businesses in a Covid-secure manner can be found at Trade with Confidence.  

Information about business grants can be found at Government Business Grants. The latest national business support measures can be found at GOV.UK