Released: April 28, 2020

Latest on employer and business support in Wolverhampton

City of Wolverhampton Council is continuing to provide guidance to employers and businesses on how to access the latest support options available to them during the coronavirus outbreak.

The business development team is contacting companies to highlight a new interactive tool that helps businesses quickly identify funding support, and to also encourage them to participate in an online survey to secure intelligence about the uptake and accessibility of the support currently available.

It comes on the back of the Government yesterday (Monday) announcing the introduction of the Bounce Back Loan scheme that will enable financial support for smaller businesses unable to access it from other schemes.

The new scheme is expected to be operational from Monday (May 4), with small businesses eligible for new loans worth between £2,000 and £50,000, which are backed by a 100 per cent Government guarantee. The cash will be accessible within days and loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, with businesses able to apply online through a short and simple form.

The Council is also eager to ensure Wolverhampton firms are fully aware of how to utilise the Government’s Job Retention Scheme - and is also urging businesses and employees to contact Wolves at Work by email wolvesatwork@wolverhampton.gov.uk if they are looking for training opportunities for furloughed staff.

Councillor Harman Banger, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “The changes necessary to stop the spread of coronavirus is making it a hugely challenging time for all employers and businesses.

“In addition to the Government’s economic support measures, the Council is also continuing to work on other ways it can support the Wolverhampton business community.

“Our work with regional partners is also vitally important in providing targeted advice and guidance or sign-posting businesses to the best sources of help.

“Rest assured, we will make sure every business is supported in whichever way possible.”

Information on the Job Retention Scheme, business rates, business grants, labour costs and welfare, business loans and deferring tax liabilities can be found in the employer and business section at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus.

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.

These are the Government’s business support measures, here you can find full details on each:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £50,999
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank (eligibility details and how to apply
  • a lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

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

There are also a number of local and regional organisations providing guidance and support.

The Black Country Growth Hub has a range of support and resources related to the impact of coronavirus.

The West Midlands Combined Authority has a business support page.

The Black Country Chamber of Commerce runs online business clinics for members to provide real time specialist advice, sharing of information, and peer to peer support. Log on here.

The Federation of Small Business has information for small independent traders.

Access to Business helps new businesses or if you are in the process of setting up in business.