The Business Premises Support Scheme (“the Scheme”), established in March 2021, provides grant assistance to support local businesses in designated sectors that have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Scheme was created to assist eligible businesses and self-employed persons:
- Whose turnover has been materially impacted by 25% or more over the course of the pandemic; and
- Who operate from commercial business premises.
This support can be claimed by eligible businesses alongside other COVID-19 financial support offered by the Isle of Man Government, including the CBSS - Circuit Break (March 2021) £2,500 payment, CBSS Round 4 & 5 (£3,000 for business operating in the Tourism & Travel sector), Coronavirus Recovery Scheme, the MERA and Salary Support Scheme.
When can you apply?
Applications for the Business Premises Support Scheme opened on Wednesday 31st March 2021.
Applications for this Scheme will close at 5:30pm on 30th April 2021. Any issues with submitted applications must be resolved by the 16th May 2021, failure to resolve issues by this date will result in the application being closed and no payment will be made.
What does the Business Premises Support Scheme offer?
The Scheme operates in two parts. Applicants should be aware of the difference between the following two elements of the Scheme. Eligible businesses can apply for either or both of these parts for each of its eligible commercial premises:
Rates Payment Element
Offers financial support in the form of a grant payment to eligible businesses, equivalent to a business' annual rates bill for each of its commercial premises.
Important note - this is not a rates rebate and applicants will still be required to pay their rates bill(s) as usual for each of its commercial premises.
This payment is open to all businesses who operate in sectors omitted from 'excluded sectors' listed below.
£250 Payment Element
Offers a one-off payment of £250 for each of the applicant's commercial premises within the hospitality and catering sector that would normally open on Saturdays and/or Sundays and either:
a) closed earlier than usual; or
b) didn’t open at all on either Saturday 27th or Sunday 28th February 2021 in line with Government advice issued that weekend.
This payment is exclusively available to businesses operating in the following sectors only:
- Commercial business premises which are registered with the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture as a food business, such as coffee shops, cafes and restaurants; or
- Commercial business premises in respect of which an on-licence, granted under the Licensing Act 1995, is in force, such as bars, nightclubs and public houses, whether or not they serve food.
Sectors which are excluded from both elements of the Scheme are any business which falls into the below sectors:
- 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, except for those businesses with 25 employees or less where the majority of their clients are in the Isle of Man;
- E-gaming etc.;
- Visitor Accommodation, other than registered permanent campsites without glamping facilities;
- 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; and
- Any constituent entity of a MNE group under the Income Tax (Country-by-Country Reporting) Regulations 2017 (total consolidated group revenue of 750 million Euros or more).
Any business in the above sectors that can prove to the satisfaction of the Chief Executive of the Department for Enterprise that it has and continues to be financially impacted and is unable to meet eligible business overheads as a direct result of the restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 may request special consideration. Such a request must be made in writing stating the reasons why such an exception should be made and provide any evidence, as requested by the Department, to support such a request.
This Scheme is only available to “applicants” as defined in Section 1.1 of the guidance.
Only one application and payment per self-employed individual, sole trader, partnership or limited company will be permitted in each round of funding.
Businesses within a group of companies, or those sharing common beneficial owners / shareholders, are eligible to apply provided each business meets the general eligibility criteria within this guidance.
Businesses with multiple commercial premises are allowed to apply for each premise on a single application for both elements of the Scheme.
In order to qualify for the Scheme and financial assistance all “applicants” must:
a) Have experienced a cumulative 25% or more reduction in turnover over the course of the various Coronavirus lockdowns in both 2020 and 2021;
b) Confirm that the business is their primary source of income. Please refer to the below definition of primary source of income;
c) To the best of its knowledge, intend to continue trading through the current difficult conditions into at least the short to mid-term future and that if the business closes the grant may be repayable;
d) Not be in an excluded sector as outlined in the Guidance (1.3c);
e) Have been in operation continuously for a period that commenced no later than 2nd March 2021;
f) Have annual profits or gains wholly or mainly from a relevant sector as set out in this Guidance;
g) Not have any overdue payments of more than 3 months which are more than £3,000 relating to Income Tax, National Insurance and VAT; and
h) Meet other Income Tax, NI and VAT compliance criteria.
Additional criteria specifically for self-employed applicants:
i) Be a self-employed earner as defined by the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 19921;
j) Have already notified the Treasury under regulation 87 of the Social Security (Contributions) Regulations 2001 of their liability to pay Class 2 National Insurance Contributions or notified the Assessor of Income Tax of any income from self-employment;
k) Have been in operation, in the capacity specified in (i) continuously for a period that commenced no later than 2nd March 2021; and
l) Derive his or her primary source of income, other than income which may be received via a pension entitlement, from an eligible sector (ineligible sectors are listed in 1.3c of the Guidance).
Important note – Primary source of income is defined as one of the following:
1. Only source of income; or
2. Main source of income; or
3. Income above £6,500.
Important note - Applicants who have been declined for one (or more) of the criteria listed above and who have not resolved the issue(s) will be declined in this funding round.
Additional criteria for the Business Rates element of the Scheme:
a) Qualifying business must supply for each premise being applied for a copy of the annual rates bill for 2020/21 from the Treasury and/or local authority; and/or
b) Businesses that rent their commercial premises must submit evidence of their contribution to its landlord for business rates for the period 2020/21. This contribution must be evidenced in a manner that is satisfactory to the Department (i.e. a statement or letter from the landlord, detailing the amounts in relation to business rates).
Important note – Businesses who trade out of residential properties will not be eligible for this Scheme.
Additional criteria for £250 for Catering businesses that closed earlier than usual or did not open at all on Saturday 27th or Sunday 28th February 2021 on the advice of the Government:
a) The hospitality and catering businesses will be eligible for an additional payment of £250 if the business closed their premises earlier than usual or did not open at all on Saturday 27th or Sunday 28th February 2021 as per the Government advice. Those businesses which were not expected to be open during this period under normal circumstances will be ineligible.
Additional COVID-19 Support Available
Alongside this support, businesses and self-employed individuals may also be able to benefit from the following schemes (subject to certain eligibility requirements):
- Salary Support Scheme
Has been re-opened to provide financial assistance to any qualifying business to ensure they can continue to pay their employees throughout the Circuit Break Lockdown.
- Manx Earnings Replacement Allowance (MERA)
Provides an income of £230 a week to people who have either been laid off or made redundant from their employment, or have lost their self-employed work, since 3rd March 2021.