The Isle of Man Government has announced a 12 week extension to both the Salary Support Scheme (SSS) and the Manx Earnings Replacement Allowance (MERA) to provide continued support to individuals and businesses that are still adversely affected by COVID-19.
MERA has been extended to 20 September and from the 01 June those that have previously received a grant under the Coronavirus Business Support Scheme will be eligible to apply.
The SSS will now continue for an additional three claim periods with the last period ending on 17 August. Even though specific business sectors have been able to return to work it is recognised that some businesses within those sectors may continue to be adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The SSS remains available for those businesses that meet the conditions of the scheme and continue to suffer a reduction in revenue of at least 25%. However, a business should only claim for the weeks it is adversely affected.
The extensions were announced by Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan MHK at today’s coronavirus briefing, following approval by Tynwald this week.
Minister Cannan said:
‘I am pleased that the suppression of the virus has meant that some sectors of our economy are starting to return to work and we expect to see some reduction in the level of claims both for the Salary Support Scheme and for MERA over the coming weeks. Nevertheless, I have to accept that it is far too early at this stage to expect these businesses to resume normal levels of activities and profitability and in any case, many will have considerable ground to make up having been closed down for a significant period of time.
‘As much as we have relied on each other to suppress and contain the virus and protect health, we now need to rely on each other to get back to work and to rebuild the economy.
‘It is vital that we continue to protect those individuals and businesses that are still affected by COVID-19. I hope that in the coming weeks many businesses will resume work and reliance on our support schemes will diminish.’