Released: March 18, 2020

Support on offer to businesses due to coronavirus outbreak

City of Wolverhampton Council is communicating with businesses in the city to highlight the support and advice on offer to them during the coronavirus outbreak

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The government announced yesterday (Tuesday) evening an enhanced package of economic measures to help businesses through this difficult time.

The council has outlined below where to seek local and regional help and these are the latest government actions, more details of which can be found at www.gov.uk

  • statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England, subject to state aid restrictions
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief, subject to state aid restrictions
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000, subject to state aid restrictions
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme to help with tax

Councillor Harman Banger, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “We are aware of the changing and challenging environment businesses are facing due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Small and medium-sized businesses - the life-blood of our local economies - are often hardest hit in situations like this.

“We will work with regional partners to provide targeted advice and guidance or sign-post businesses to the best source of help.

“We want to reassure businesses that we are working with the government, and the economic measures it has put in place, to do all that we can to support them during this difficult time.”

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

  • Suspending court action for recovery of business rates after March 19
  • 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

For any businesses/tenants that rent property from the council and wish to discuss their position, please contact the Estates Team, Corporate Landlord, by emailing property.enquiries@wolverhampton.gov.uk and options will be discussed.

The Black Country Growth Hub has information on local business support programmes and business advice: https://bcgrowthhub.com/coronavirus-covid19

The Federation of Small Business has information for small independent traders: https://www.fsb.org.uk/

Access to Business helps new businesses or if you are in the process of setting up in business: https://access2business.co.uk

The Black Country Chamber have online advice and a business helpline (01902 912322): www.blackcountrychanmer.co.uk

If you would like to speak to a member of the council’s Enterprise Team, please call Jay Patel (07584 491216) or Jeff Marlow (07392 137481).

As an alternative you can leave your contact details and a short summary about your business via the email at Business.development@wolverhampton.gov.uk and you will receive a response from the team the same day.