Following the government decision to put in place a nationwide lockdown from 5 November, local authorities across England, including the Isle of Wight Council, are on standby to receive funds to support businesses.
Two funds will be made available which could help Island businesses that have had to close, or that can remain open but are severely impacted by the lockdown.
The business support is similar to previous schemes, with some changes.
The Local Restrictions Support Grant Fund (LRSG) is a property-related grant which the government is offering for businesses that have been required to close by new government regulations.
These include non-essential retail, leisure, hospitality, sports clubs and personal care such as hairdressing and beauty.
The grants payable are mandatory, which means the council does not decide which businesses receive them.
The amount payable will be based on the amount of business rates paid by the business.
The application form to access the LRSG can be accessed via the council’s coronavirus business support page.
Payments will start to be processed from 16 November 2020.
In addition the government has provided funds to the Isle of Wight Council for use as a grant fund known as Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG).
This fund is discretionary and can be allocated by the authority itself to meet local needs.
The government guidance encourages local authorities to use this funding to help businesses which are not legally required to close but could be severely impacted by the restrictions imposed by lockdown.
This could include businesses which supply retail, leisure, hospitality or are in the events sector, or those businesses outside the business rates system such as some market stalls and those in shared premises.
The council has decided to operate the ARG by receiving applications from businesses directly and indirectly affected by the latest restrictions.
Businesses will need to be able to demonstrate they were open and trading on 4 November and provide information on their turnover in November 2019.
Grants of up to £5,000 will be available and where evidence of significant impact above £5,000 can be demonstrated up to a maximum of £25,000 could be awarded. ARG grants will be awarded from 16 November 2020.
A separate application form is needed for the ARG and this again can be accessed via the council’s coronavirus business support web page.
Businesses can apply for both grants with any LRSG award being taken into consideration in any ARG award.
Councillor Wayne Whittle, Cabinet member for regeneration and business development, said: “We recognise that the national lockdown is also going to bring more pressure to many businesses that are already in a fragile position as a result of the trading challenges they have already faced this year.
“The council is committed to distributing the additional funding provided by government to support businesses as quickly as possible so the damage to our economy is kept to a minimum.
“Please follow the link and fill out the form that applies to you as soon as possible.”