The Economic Recovery Group has announced the availability of a further £3.4million committed to support local businesses in response to continuing pressures around COVID-19.
This is in addition to financial support of over £9million announced earlier in December.
Treasury Minister David Ashford MHK, commented:
‘We recognise the difficulties being faced by different sectors and the challenges they have ahead over the next few months. In light of the level of impact seen over the Christmas period, particularly within the domestic economy, the Economic Recovery Group have increased the level of support available and broadened the customer-facing sectors which are eligible for support, facilitated through two financial assistance schemes. This support is designed to assist these sectors further alongside supporting the wider economic base of the Island.’
- The COVID-19 December Disruption Scheme opened for applications this week and provides grant support of up to £6,000 to eligible businesses and self-employed persons operating in the catering, hospitality, leisure, retail, lifestyle and additional domestic sectors whose turnover was materially impacted during December 2021, compared to the same period in 2019 or 2020.
- The COVID-19 Winter Disruption Scheme which opened in December 2021 provides grant support to businesses that have suffered a reduction in turnover, in the same broad range of domestic sectors, equivalent to four years’ business rates. Those businesses without commercial premises can claim a single grant payment of £4,000 to cover the same period.
The two Schemes are designed to complement each other, and businesses may be able to access both grant schemes for financial support, dependent on their circumstances.
To access financial support under either scheme, applicant businesses will be required to declare that they have suffered a significant reduction in turnover during the relevant qualifying period.
Dr Alex Allinson MHK, Minister for Enterprise, commented:
‘We recognise that COVID-19 has caused significant difficulties for businesses over the winter period, with many experiencing customer cancellations, and staff disruptions due to self-isolation, resulting in reduced trading over the typically busy festive season.
‘The financial commitment announced by the Economic Recovery Group builds upon what was announced in December 2021 and has been made to help businesses navigate these periods of uncertainty, and the implementation of the December Disruption Scheme, now with an increased grant amount being made available, aims to offer a further level of support to affected businesses.’
‘150 businesses have already applied to access funding through the Winter Disruption Scheme since it opened for applications, with almost £500k already being paid out in financial support.’
The Minister for Enterprise continued:
‘In addition to these direct financial support mechanisms, a range of existing support measures remain available for businesses whose trading has been affected by COVID-19.
‘This includes the Coronavirus Adaptation Scheme, Strategic Capacity Scheme extension, and the two Coronavirus Loan Agreements, alongside the recently announced £500 financial support towards accountancy services to help businesses apply for financial support.
‘As always, the Department also offers a fully funded Business Advisory Service for those businesses who need general business advice and support through these difficult trading conditions.’
Information regarding the COVID-19 support available for businesses can be found by visiting the COVID-19 website.
Potential applicants who are unsure of their eligibility are encouraged to contact the Department for Enterprise by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on +44 1624 687333.