More than £1million in business support grants have been paid to eligible Wolverhampton taxi and private hire drivers since the scheme went live at the end of last month.
Over 500 drivers have received a one-off payment of £2,000 through The Additional Restriction Grant – Taxi and Private Hire Grant Scheme, created to support those whose business has been significantly impacted by the current lockdown.
The grant is aimed at Hackney Carriage/Dual and Private Hire Drivers who live in Wolverhampton, regardless of which authority they are licensed with.
The taxi grant scheme is the latest of several grants administered by the Council, which has seen £65million paid out to Wolverhampton businesses throughout the pandemic.
Councillor Alan Bolshaw, Chair of the Licensing Committee, said:
I am very pleased with what has been achieved to help our licensed drivers in Wolverhampton.
However, I remain concerned that there are drivers who are unaware of this excellent scheme, which has been developed to help them in these most challenging times. I would urge all those who believe they may be eligible to visit the business grants webpage and apply.
Councillor Stephen Simkins, Cabinet Member for City Economy, added:
I urge all businesses to apply for the business grants before the end of the month. There are people ready to take your enquiry and help you through the process.
Eligibility criteria and how to access the online application process for the taxi grant and all other business support grants can be found at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/businessgrants.
If you need help with grant applications or have a general query, you can get in touch with the Black Country Growth Hub team by clicking here OR by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the business support phoneline on 01902 290242 between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Thursday or from 9am to 4.30pm on Fridays. We are experiencing extremely high levels of demand and would urge businesses to remain patient.
All the grants are subject to State Aid rules and are treated as taxable income.
The latest Government information on business grants and support can be viewed at https://bit.ly/32H66MX
One-off payments of £2,000 are being made available to self-employed taxi drivers who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
This is one of a number of grants being administered by the council to support businesses and offer a financial lifeline.
The taxi grant can be used to cover business costs for self-employed licensed and private hire taxi drivers who live in the borough regardless of which council they are licensed with. Terms and condition apply.
Councillor Steve Clark, cabinet member for finance, said:
The borough’s taxi drivers have been hit hard by this pandemic, many seeing their trade reduce significantly.
We wanted to give taxi drivers this one-off payment to help cover their costs and give them a financial boost to see them through these final months before restrictions are lifted.Grants are still available for other businesses too so I’d urge anyone who thinks they could be eligible to get in touch immediately.
The taxi grants form part of larger grant funding schemes being offered by the council, which in part have provided 4,000 businesses with more than £19million in support.
Other grants are still available for businesses which have been forced to close due to national restrictions, including non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality sectors. There’s still time for businesses to apply for the funding before these grants close on March 31.