City of Wolverhampton Council is calling on the city’s home based businesses to check if they are eligible for the second round of its Discretionary Grant Scheme.

The fund is offering free grants to small businesses who have seen trade and sales drop significantly due to the impact of Covid-19, provided they meet the eligibility criteria.

The deadline for applications is noon on Thursday 6 August, 2020.

Businesses MUST demonstrate they are a registered business, were trading as at 11 March, 2020, and show loss of income and property costs such as mortgage or rent.

Full details of the eligibility criteria, evidence required and a link to the application form are available at Discretionary Grants Fund - Round 2.

The scheme is aimed at small businesses who have been ineligible for previous Government grants such as the Small Business Grant and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant.

The Government initially awarded City of Wolverhampton Council £2.3 million for the Discretionary Grant Scheme, with more than 130 eligible businesses awarded grants in the first round.

The second round of the scheme continues to support 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.

But it has also been broadened out to help businesses that employ up to 50 employees, who have relatively high ongoing property costs and have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 crisis.

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

Councillor Stephen Simkins, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “Many of our struggling home based businesses will not have qualified for previous Government grant schemes, which is why it is critical they take advantage of this opportunity now.

“These second round grants are to help those small businesses which have been hit hard by the impact of coronavirus.

“Our priority in distributing this funding is to help businesses recover and retain as many employees as possible.

“Many of these businesses are the bedrock of our local economy and our local community. These grants could prove critical in their recovery and that of the city.

“I would urge businesses to check the guidance and submit their applications as soon as possible as grants will be handed out on a first come, first served basis.”