Public Health - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Businesses and employers

In relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation please follow the latest advice from the government - for employees, employers and businesses.

This includes updates on safely operating businesses that have reopened or are reopening, grant funding and the full range of other support.

For key information on COVID-19 safe working for your business and other regulatory requirements please visit our Environmental Health pages and our covid secure business web pages.

Special ‘support finder’ tool

The government has published a special ‘support finder’ tool to help businesses and the self-employed quickly and easily find out what financial support is available.

Grant support schemes  - deadline 19 August 2020

If you have any questions in relation to government grant support schemes please direct your enquiries by email to ecdev@iow.gov.uk

Please note: The government has now announced that the three grant funding schemes listed below will officially close for payment on 28 August 2020. One of these, the Discretionary Grant Fund, has already closed locally.

To allow the council to evaluate and process details (see link to form below), the effective deadline is 19 August 2020. Please ensure you complete and return the form by this date.

Small Business Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund:

  • Payments for these two funds are continuing to be distributed by the council and will continue in line with the government directions. Please note the deadline for submission of your details is 19 August 2020.

  •  If you think your business qualifies under the criteria for this support, please use this online form for support for businesses affected by Covid-19 (Coronavirus) to provide details so we can process direct payment.

  • If you have any questions in relation to eligibility and payments for the Small Business Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund please direct your enquiries by email to business.rates@iow.gov.uk  

 Discretionary Grant Fund:

  • This grant scheme has already closed to applications on the Island, the funds having been fully allocated.

 

Support package for businesses

The government introduced a package of temporary measures to support businesses through the disruption caused by COVID-19, beginning in March 2020.

These have included:

  • an extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme;

  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments;

  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs;

  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England;

  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief;

  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value of more than £15,000 and less than £51,000;

  • grant funding of £10,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value of £15,000 and under;

  • an additional discretionary grant scheme for those businesses which missed out under the small business and retail, hospitality and leisure funding schemes;

  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank;

  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans;

  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme;

  • self-assessment income tax payments that were due in July, can be deferred to the end of January 2021;

  • self-employed people can receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least three months;

  • a government-backed Bounce Back Loans scheme for small and medium businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000;

  • a Future Fund providing government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors - the scheme is open for applications until the end of September 2020. 

 

General support

Small Business Britain introduced ‘The Big Support’ campaign to encourage small businesses to reach out for support during this difficult time.

The resources listed below provide further websites, phonelines and free chat rooms to attempt to resolve issues and uncertainties that people have been facing.

  • Business Support Helpline - Telephone 0300 456 3565 (England), business support and advice directly from the government.

  • Government WhatsApp service – Telephone 07860 064422 a free to use service set up by the government to provide official information and advice about coronavirus.

  • Enterprise Nation - a website providing up to date government information, support schemes and advice for businesses through an online FAQ and live chat service.

  • BT Skills for Tomorrow - helping families, businesses and communities across the UK widen their skills with the use of online courses in a variety of different topics, such as: managing your money, using email, promoting your business, learning how to use LinkedIn and much more.

  • The Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs Business Survival Toolkit - a free to use small business survival toolkit of support and learning resources that will be available for as long as the coronavirus outbreak continues.

  • Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Coronavirus Support Hub - the Solent LEP has produced a support hub to allow individuals to have access to relevant information and advice.

  • WSX Enterprise Free Business Advice - supporting SMEs with 1:1 email and telephone exchanges with advisers and business owners in the region.

  • COVID-19 Toolkits (NOSYDesign) - free browsing of articles from industry experts on how their businesses are dealing with the current crisis.

 

Funding support

Many businesses have needed funding support to help them through this uncertain period. Below is a list of opportunities currently available, including the Rural Business Resilience Fund which is specifically for the Isle of Wight.

  • Isle of Wight Rural Business Resilience Fund - grants of up to £2,500 for rural, small and medium-sized businesses on the Island looking to develop alternative ways of working during the coronavirus pandemic. For guidance visit IOW Rural business resilience fund - technical guidance. For the application form visit IOW Rural business resilience fund - application form

  • Sustainable Innovation Fund grants - Innovate UK (IUK), a government agency, is looking to help businesses recover, grow and create new opportunities from the aftermath of the pandemic. From an overall budget of £55 million, applicants can claim a maximum grant of £175,000 against their eligible project costs. Each project's total eligible costs must be between £100,000 and £500,000. Proposals must show evidence of key challenges as a direct consequence of Covid-19, and how the project can help solve them. In addition, IUK expects proposals to ensure that any recovery, growth and opportunity is clean and sustainable.

 

 

 

Innovation funding

There is also funding available for innovative and research-intensive businesses that have been impacted.

 

Mental health support

The resources listed below are all free to use and can support you at this very difficult time.

 

Other key advice for businesses including COVID-19 related opening advice and guidance

For key advice on other council services affecting your business at this time, please access the relevant information via the links below.

These include areas such as:

 

Business asset toolkit

A Business Asset toolkit has been developed for use by the retail sector on the Island.

This toolkit provides template advisory posters to assist businesses in becoming COVID-19 secure. Businesses should ensure they have undertaken all steps to risk assess their business activities in line with the government guidance - working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

Please note: As the situation is changing on an ongoing basis, businesses are advised to continue to check information on the government website for the latest updates.