Well over 3,000 City of Wolverhampton businesses have now received vital coronavirus support grants.

More than £37 million has been distributed from the Government’s Small Business Grant Fund and Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund to 3,306 eligible city businesses by the City of Wolverhampton Council since 6 April.

To date over 92% of requests for funding have been paid and the council is currently supporting a further 211 city businesses at various stages in the process.

The City of Wolverhampton Council is urging eligible businesses who have yet to claim their coronavirus business support grants to submit their online form.

Eligible businesses have been contacted by letter and/or email and allocated a code, a Business Account reference number and a link to a web form to capture the relevant business information. Businesses are encouraged to check their post and emails for correspondence from the council.

Anyone with any business support queries should call 01902 290242 between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Thursday or from 9am to 4.30pm on Fridays.  

All forms submitted by businesses are subject to thorough eligibility checks, and to ensure that they meet the criteria of being the ratepayer and in occupation of the business on 11 March, 2020.

The council is dealing with a high volume of calls to update records and is working as quickly as possible. Following this, businesses are contacted and invited to confirm their eligibility for a grant. Further communication with businesses may be necessary if any of the required information is missing.

The City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor Harman Banger, said: “The council is proud to be supporting small businesses in the city to access this money. 

“We have an excellent team who are proactively contacting eligible businesses and processing the grants. They are also on hand to support businesses who require help and advice with the online process.

“If you’ve already filled in an online form but haven’t received your grant payment yet, please bear with us. Rest assured, we will make sure every business is supported in whichever way possible.”

The Government guidance on the size of the grants is as follows:

  • 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 £50,999

Councillor Banger has also repeated his call to businesses to utilise the Government’s new Bounce Back Loan scheme, which went live last week.

This will enable financial support for small and medium-sized businesses unable to access it from other schemes. It provides access to new loans worth between £2,000 and £50,000, which are backed by a 100% Government guarantee. The cash is accessible within days and loans are interest free for the first 12 months, with businesses able to apply online through a short and simple form. For further details, please visit GOV.UK

Councillor Banger added: “It is important small businesses look seriously at the Bounce Back Loan scheme with a view to how their business might look in 12 to 18 months. This scheme could be a vital tool in the recovery and eventual growth of their business.”

Full details of the latest government business support measures can be found at GOV.UK

More information on business rates, business grants, labour costs and welfare, business loans and deferring tax liabilities can be found in the employers and businesses section at Coronavirus advice and information.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS.   

The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit Stay Safe Be Kind.