CBSS - Circuit Break (March 2021)

The below figures show total applications received, total applications processed and total payments processed to date as of Monday 14th June 2021.

CBSS - Circuit Break (March 2021)

Applications for this Scheme have now closed.

The CBSS - Circuit Break (March 2021) opened for applications on Wednesday 3rd March to support businesses and self-employed individuals who are able to declare that they have experienced, or are expected to experience a 25% or more reduction in turnover following the announcement of the Circuit Break Lockdown which came into force on Wednesday 3rd March 2021.

When can you apply?

Applications for the CBSS - Circuit Break (March 2021) opened at 5pm on Wednesday 3rd March 2021 and closed at 5:30pm on 14th May 2021.

Any issues with submitted applications must be resolved by the 31st 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 CBSS - Circuit Break (March 2021) offer?

The purpose of the Scheme is to provide support by way of financial assistance for eligible business overheads to those applicants that meet the Scheme’s eligibility criteria.

The Scheme offers financial support to eligible applicants in the form of a single grant payment of £3,500.

For businesses operating in the following sectors, a maximum of £2,500 can be claimed, due to the announcement made on 1st April 2021 that businesses operating in these sectors were able to return to work from 6th April 2021:

  • Construction
  • Gardening & Horticulture
  • External & Window Cleaning

If your business operates in one of the sectors listed above and you remain unable to work because of the effects of Coronavirus on your business, you may apply for special consideration to receive additional funding.

More information and a link to request special consideration can be found towards the end of this page. 

Is my business eligible? 

Eligible applicants must declare that:

  • Business earnings are the individual's primary source of income;
  • They have, or will have a 25% or more reduction in turnover following the implementation of the March circuit break lockdown; and
  • They have usual eligible monthly business overheads of more than £250 per calendar month.

Excluded Sectors

Excluded sectors are any business which falls into the below sectors:

  • The Finance sector including but not restricted to;
    • Banking
    • Insurance
    • 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 on the Isle of Man;
    E-gaming etc.;
  • Space;
  • Visitor Accommodation, other than registered permanent campsites without glamping facilities;
  • Utilities (including gas and telecoms);
  • Property Landlords;
  • 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 Euro 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.

Eligibility criteria

This Scheme is only available to “applicants” as defined in Section 1.1 of the scheme guidelines.
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.
In order to qualify for the Scheme and financial assistance all “applicants” must:

a) Have experienced or are expected to experience a 25% or more reduction in turnover/earnings due to the March 2021 circuit-break lockdown;

b) Confirm that the business is their primary source of income;

c) Have genuine business overheads of more than £250 per month (eligible business overheads are listed in the Guidance), state the level of such overheads, provide a summary of those overheads and that without financial assistance such overheads will create financial difficulty. Applicants may be requested to evidence these overheads;

d) 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;

e) Not be in an excluded sector as outlined in the Guidance (1.3b);

f) Not be in receipt of either the Strategic Capacity Scheme (Round 4) or Coronavirus Business Support Scheme (Round 4);

g) Have been in operation continuously for a period that commenced no later than 2nd March 2021;

h) Have annual profits or gains wholly or mainly from a relevant sector as set out in this Guidance;

i) 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

j) Meet other Income Tax, NI and VAT compliance criteria.

Additional criteria specifically for self-employed applicants:

k) Be a self-employed earner as defined by the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992;

l) 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;

m) Have been in operation, in the capacity specified in (k) continuously for a period that commenced no later than 2nd March 2021; and

n) 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 1.3b of the Scheme Guidelines).

Important note - Primary source of income is defined as one of the following: 

  • Only source of income; or
  • Main source of income; or
  • 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.

Eligible business overheads and expenditure

Qualifying business overheads include (but not limited to) the following:

  • Rent on commercial business premises (to be paid to independent third parties only);
  • Commercial (non-residential) premises operating costs including rates, utilities, insurance, cleaning;
  • Audit, accountancy, professional and subscription fees;
  • IT operating costs including licenses;
  • Existing lease, hire purchase or finance costs relating to business equipment, vehicles or machinery (to be paid to independent third parties only);
  • Registration fees with relevant professional bodies, or sector regulators;
  • Business insurance;
  • Car tax (if used for the business);
  • Phone costs (business purposes only);
  • Routine bank charges;
  • Capital (business and loans) or interest repayments;
  • Mortgage payments (for business premises, not residential);
    Supplier invoices;
  • Purchases of fuel and equipment (business use only); and
  • Other reasonable business costs incurred as agreed by the Department on a case by case basis.

The following costs are specifically excluded:

  • Salary costs;
  • Personal costs;
    • Mortgages for your home;
    • Rent of residential properties;
    • Property maintenance for residential properties;
    • Residential rates;
    • Home Insurance;
    • Home utility bills;
    • Broadband; and
    • Entertainment (including streaming services)
  • Payments to related entities (with the exception of payments in respect of shared costs within a group structure and subject to the Department’s discretion); and
  • Directors’ fees (including dividends).

Request Special Consideration

On 1st April it was announced that in recognition of the circuit break extension, the CBSS – Circuit Break (March 2021) will run a further £1,000 (in addition to the £2,500 previously paid) automatic payment to cover the period 6-19th April 2021. This additional payment was completed to eligible applicants on Thursday 8th April 2021. 

This additional funding excluded  the following sectors which were able to reopen on 6th April 2021; construction, gardening & horticulture and external & window cleaning.

However, businesses within these sectors are able to apply for special consideration to be assessed on their individual circumstances if they were unable to work or their turnover remained down by 25% or more over the period 6-19th April 2021.

Please note - Applicants should only request special consideration if they have submitted an initial application and been successful in gaining payment of £2,500 through this Scheme.

Please note - Applications for special consideration have now closed.

In addition, applicants who have been declined should not apply for special consideration, but can instead appeal the decision by email to the Department for Enterprise.


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.



  • A Further £2,293,000 Paid to Businesses through the CBSS - Circuit Break (March 2021).

  • Further Financial Support Announced for Those Impacted by Circuit Break Lockdown

  • CBSS - Circuit Break (March 2021) now open for applications

  • Applications for CBSS - Circuit Break (March 2021) to Open Tomorrow

  • Manx Earnings Replacement Allowance Re-opened for Individuals and Self-Employed

  • Salary Support Scheme Opened for Eligible Businesses Impacted by Circuit Break Lockdown

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