What we're doing
The Mayor of the West Midlands and West Midlands Combined Authority have convened weekly virtual meetings of a Covid-19 economic impact group to connect local intelligence with national policy decisions, ensuring that support is effective and reaches businesses without delay. This is in addition to the public health response led by the NHS and local authorities.
They began on 4 March and will continue as long as is necessary. The group has over 35 members including:
- Private sector organisations – with representation across major construction, conferencing, advanced manufacturing and digital businesses along with all Chambers of Commerce, the IoD, CBI, Make UK and ICAEW.
- TUC Midlands
- The region’s three LEPs, Growth Hubs and West Midlands Growth Company
- The seven constituent local authorities of the West Midlands
- National partners, including the Bank of England, British Business Bank and government departments
Organisations that would like to contribute to this group can do so by emailing CoronavirusResponse@wmca.org.uk
WMCA has produced a summary document for businesses outlining the support they are able to offer, and how to access it.
This document will be updated on a weekly basis but for the most up to date advice we recommend businesses visit the gov.uk page directly.
Businesses are able to access support directly through the gov.uk website, there is no need to engage the services of third parties to access support.
Offer and request support from across the West Midlands
In these testing and unprecedented times, the West Midlands community is rallying to offer support for front-line services, businesses and citizens affected by COVID-19. This platform has been created to coordinate offers and requests for support, bringing the community together in the fight against coronavirus.
Advice for Re-opening your Business
From Monday 15 June, non-essential retail businesses can start to reopen. Every business will have different challenges depending on the type of retail they are involved in, their location and range of customers.
We have put together some tips which can help you manage re-opening, supporting your customers and your staff - access it here.
A full range of support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees by central government including:
- statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
- a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England, (subject to confirmation of state aid restrictions)
- a 12-month business rates holiday for nurseries
- small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief, (subject to confirmation of 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 confirmation of 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
Click here to find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.
Discretionary Business Grants and Local Grant Funding
The Local Grant Funding and Discretionary Business Grant schemes officially closed for applications on 28th August 2020, with final payment to eligible businesses by 30th September. Through the Business Grants Scheme, Local Authorities in the West Midlands have paid in excess of £480 million in grants to over 40,000 local businesses to support them during the pandemic.
There is local aid and guidance available for businesses and employers through their local authorities, growth hubs,chamber of commerce and industry bodies.
Find links for each below:
Chamber of Commerce