The Business Adaptation Grant is formed under the Coronavirus Recovery Scheme which provides financial assistance in the form of a grant payment to support the costs of adapting a business and/or to provide support towards essential ongoing operating costs.
The Department for Enterprise’s Coronavirus Recovery Scheme is made under the Coronavirus Business Support Scheme) Scheme 2020 (“the Scheme”) came into force on 25th December 2020 to replace Appendices 9 and 10 of the Financial Assistance Scheme.
What does the Business Adaptation Grant offer?
It is understood that in the current climate, some businesses may wish to consider innovating and adapting their existing business model in order to maintain and hopefully grow revenues. Through the Business Adaptation Grant, the Department will refund up to 50% of the approved expenditure in the areas identified under 'eligible expenditure'.
The Department considers an adaptation to be a change to the way a business provides the products or services within its current business model, for example:
- Retail stores – adapting to offer online ordering/click and collect services;
- Wholesalers – adapting product lines and offering alternative sales channels;
- Restaurants and Cafés - adapting to offer online ordering systems for collection and deliveries;
- All sectors – improving ventilation systems to improve the air quality in the premises;
- Or targeting a new customer base for example, a souvenir shop that would normally rely on tourist trade targeting on-Island customers with care packages to send to family and friends off-island.
The Department will consider offering grant assistance towards the essential costs required to carry out genuine adaptation of the existing business model provided it is considered necessary directly as a result of the current coronavirus related restrictions in place, in order for the business to keep operating.
No grant assistance will be offered in cases where a business is considered to be simply expanding or offering an extension of the services already provided e.g. a restaurant building an extension of its physical premises or a shop offering the same products for hire as well as for sale.
Eligible adaptation costs incurred from 27th February 2021 will be able to apply for grant assistance.
Please note: the assistance under this package of support is available until 31st December 2021.
The Department will refund up to 50% of the approved expenditure in the areas identified below:
- Modification to facilities. This may be subject to a reduced level of support if part of the modification is ineligible for assistance;
- Capital equipment (purchased or leased);
- Equipment needed to deliver new products or services;
- Up to £7,500 towards one business vehicle bought or leased to deliver new products or services where the business does not already own a vehicle and it will provide a permanent change to the business model. No support is available for the replacement or upgrade of vehicles or expanding a fleet of vehicles;
- Rent on any additional space leased;
- Protective screens, capped at a maximum of £500 per business (only in cases where they are an essential part of the adaptation and none were already installed e.g. a restaurant that did not previously offer a takeaway service installing a public facing takeaway hatch/counter);
- Ventilation works to improve indoor air quality by circulating air from an outside source or re-circulating air via a filtration system, capped at a maximum of £5,000 per business. Any application for ventilation work must be accompanied by an independent health and safety report with a recommendation on the ventilation system (this report cannot be issued by any company selling, installing, or affiliated with the ventilation system). The Department will assist with a grant of a maximum of £500 towards this report;
- IT hardware/software, capped at a maximum of £10k for businesses with less than 10 full time employees and a maximum of £25k for businesses with over 10 FTEs, across a combination of both software and hardware (only available in cases where it is essential for the adaptation being carried out e.g. a personal trainer purchasing a laptop and software in order to provide online training sessions. No assistance will be provided towards IT hardware or software for homeworking, where the only change to the business model is to work from home);
- 1st year costs of establishing the new area of business for example, legal, accounting and meeting health & safety or environmental standards; and
- Other reasonable costs as agreed by the Department on a case by case basis.
- Any equipment or vehicles that are second hand will need to have been purchased from an independent third party, and may also require separate independent valuation. Only work carried out by an independent third party will be eligible for grant assistance. No grant assistance will be offered towards stock or consumable items which are considered an ongoing business cost, including consumable PPE items
- Support towards adaptation costs for businesses in the Tourist Accommodation sector is limited to online booking systems, ‘track and trace’ systems and ventilation systems only.
- Only one application per business will usually be allowed
Applications for assistance towards business adaptation may be considered from eligible local businesses in all sectors excluding the following:
- The finance sector including but not restricted to:
- fund industry including managers and administrators
accountancy services, except for those businesses with 25 employees or less where the majority of their clients are in the Isle of Man
- trust and corporate service providers
- other financial services
- Legal services, except where at least 30% of the income of the provider of those services is derived from either or a combination of conveyancing and legal aid related work.
- IT; information technology and digital.
- E-gaming etc., except for those businesses with less than 20 employees whose business generates at least 50 percent of its revenue from Sportsbook income (sports betting, rather than Casino).
- Space and utilities (including gas and telecoms).
- Public administration.
- Any retailer that is liable to pay or will be liable to pay income tax at a 10% rate under the large retailers’ tax for the 2018/19 income tax year.
- Any business that receives a significant amount of its income from Isle of Man Government in any way and including payments for underwritten events.
- Any constituent entity of a MNE group under the Income Tax (Country-by-Country Reporting).
More information & How to Apply
Applicants must read the full Scheme Guidelines before submitting an application to the Department.
All applicants are encouraged to carefully review their eligibility status before submitting the application form (available to download under 'Downloadable Resources').
Potential applicants who are unsure of their eligibility can complete a brief online enquiry form and a member of the Enterprise Support team will be in touch. The business enquiry form can be found here.
The Coronavirus Recovery Scheme operates in two parts and provides grant assistance to eligible businesses which have suffered a reduction in turnover due to the restrictions resulting from the ongoing pandemic. The two parts of the Scheme are as follows:
- Support towards business adaptation – this option for support is open to a wide range of sectors other than those excluded, details of which can be found on page 10 of the Scheme Guidance; and
- Assistance towards essential business overheads – this option is only open to businesses in the tourism and travel related sectors. More information can be found here.