£62.8million has been given to the Isle of Wight Council to distribute to eligible businesses as part of the Government’s plan to ride the storm, keeping businesses trading and employees in work.
It has been confirmed that the local authority is preparing to make payments to businesses as ‘swiftly as it is able’. It was said on Thursday that payments will begin from this week, which means business owners can expect a boost to their bank balances at any point from today onwards.
Businesses on the mainland have already been receiving their payments and prior to this received confirmation of their eligibility. Many businesses here on the Island have raised concerns that the Isle of Wight Council has not issued any kind of confirmation letter or email, meaning many people still don’t know for sure if they are eligible for the grant.
Those who receive Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief will receive a £10,000 cash payment into their bank accounts directly from the Isle of Wight Council. For retail, hospitality and leisure businesses on the Island, with property with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000, a grant payment of £25,000 will be issued.
Businesses who believe they are eligible should complete the grant form at www.iow.gov.uk/covid19_businessadvice. This web page also provides details of eligibility criteria. To date, more than 1,800 Island business ratepayers have completed the form since it went online over 2 weeks ago.
In addition to the grant payments, all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England are receiving a 12-month business rates holiday.
Do these grants have to be paid back?
No. A grant is different from a loan – the grant does not need to be paid back. However, it may be taxable and payments issued from today will fall into the 2020-21 tax year.
I am a business but I don’t have a property. Do I get a grant?
Unfortunately not. Only those with rateable commercial property (such as an office, shop etc.) can claim a £10,000 or £25,000 grant.
Is there a qualifying date?
Yes. Payments will be made to those businesses who matched the criteria as of 11th March 2020. If you have only just taken on a property then you won’t be eligible for a grant.