01 Feb 2021 Last updated at 14:00

Discretionary business grant scheme

A special discretionary grant scheme to help Island businesses during the current lockdown is to close for applications this Friday (5 February) – having so far paid out £2 million to more than 500 applicants.

The Winter Business Support Grant (WBSG) scheme has focused on businesses impacted by the current national lockdown including those which may have missed out under the main government grant schemes introduced in early January.

 

The other schemes – including the government rolling payment and top up grants - will continue to remain open to help businesses during the ongoing lockdown. Applications can be made via www.iow.gov.uk/covid19_businessadvice

 

In addition, the deadline for ‘wet led’ Island pubs to apply for grant help under the previous Tier 3 restriction period has been extended by the government from 31 January to 28 February.

 

The WBSG scheme closes to applications from midnight on Friday 5 February, although payments will still continue to be made to those being processed.

 

The scheme was created by the council as an extension of the government’s previous Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme, which operated for the November lockdown – and was designed to support businesses severely impacted by the lockdown, including those in the supply chain and not eligible under the other lockdown schemes.

 

Cabinet member for regeneration and business development, Councillor Wayne Whittle, said: “We moved swiftly to get this specially-tailored scheme up and running as soon as the government announced the national lockdown early in January – as we were aware from previous schemes during the pandemic that there were areas of Island business that were missing out on grants.

 

“Our Economic Development Team has worked tirelessly to process and pay out these grants, using a finite government allocation – and although the deadline for applications is this week, we will continue to make payments on those previously received.

 

“I would urge any remaining businesses to get their applications in for the WBSG scheme before midnight on Friday - and of course please remember that the other January lockdown grants schemes, and those relating to previous Tier 3 and Tier 4 restriction periods, will continue to remain open.

 

“Many grant payments have also been made under these other schemes, and we urge businesses to remain patient while we process these as swiftly as we are able. We should get to you soon, so if your application has already been submitted, please try to avoid contacting us for a progress update as this may unfortunately cause further delays.

 

“As ever, we remain committed to supporting Island businesses as fully and quickly as we can throughout the pandemic, and will continue to press the government for any further assistance that can be given.”

The grant schemes announced in early January are as follows:

 

  1. Rolling grant payments (from 5 January 2021) – These are 28 day rolling payments ranging from £1,334 to £3,000 depending on rateable value for eligible ratepaying businesses in certain categories (non-essential retail, hospitality venues, accommodation, leisure and sports facilities, entertainment venues, animal attractions, indoor attractions at venues, personal care facilities, community centres and halls).
  2. One-off top-up  grants (from 5 January 2021) – These range from £4,000 to £9,000 depending on rateable value, and are for eligible ratepaying businesses in certain categories (in retail, hospitality, leisure, sports facilities and personal care sectors), which are legally required to close under the current lockdown, and which cannot operate effectively remotely:
  3. Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) – This scheme relates to grants that are available to eligible ratepaying businesses for the period during the earlier local Tier 3 and Tier 4 restrictions on the Island around Christmas and the new year.
  4. Winter Business Support Grant (WBSG) – The council created this scheme as an extension of the previous Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme, which operated for the previous November lockdown. This discretionary scheme supports businesses severely impacted by the lockdown, including those in the supply chain and not eligible for national lockdown or LRSG support. Closes to applications midnight 5 February.
  5. Christmas support payments for ‘wet’ led pubs - If your pub was in Tier 3 between 2 December 2020 and 29 December 2020 you may be eligible for a one off payment of £1,000. Island pubs were in Tier 3 from 26 December. Closes to applications 28 February.

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The scheme closes to new applications after 5 February
The scheme closes to new applications after 5 February
Factfile
  • The scheme has thus far paid out £2 million to more than 500 applicants.
 
Isle of Wight, UK