The Coronavirus Business Support Scheme offers financial support to eligible self-employed* applicants in the form of a grant payment of up to £3,000.
*Self-employed is defined as:
- self-employed individuals;
- sole traders owning a business with no staff other than the owner;
- partnerships where both parties are the owners and have no other employees; and
- businesses including limited companies with no staff other than the owner(s).
Eligible applicants MUST declare that:
- The ongoing border restrictions, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has caused a 50% reduction in turnover
- More than 50% of their annual income is gained from outbound and inbound tourism and travel activities
Eligible applicants, who have not received payments from the Manx Earnings Replacement Allowance (MERA) since the 1st July 2020, will be eligible to receive the full amount of £3,000.
Eligible applicants, who have received MERA, must self-declare the total value of MERA payments received since 1st July on their application form and this amount will be deducted from the £3,000 CBSS payment. Upon receipt of payment, the applicant must then immediately inform Treasury and cease their MERA claim with immediate effect. Failure to do this, or providing false, incomplete or misleading information is an offence.
Eligible applicants must operate in the following sectors:-
Travel and Tour Operators
- travel agents
- tour operators
- coach operators
- private car hire operators
- car rental businesses
- airport/seaport based taxi operators
- airport parking/valeting businesses
With income derived wholly or mainly from such an operation, which has and continues to suffer at least 50% reduction in turnover as a direct result of the border restrictions.
Taxi and private car hire operators must generate more than 50% of their revenue from serving the Sea Terminal and Ronaldsway Airport in order to be eligible.
"Animal Care" means a business with income wholly or mainly from the keeping of animals in a boarding establishment which is licensed under the Animal Boarding Establishments (Isle of Man) Act 1973 and has, and continues to, suffer at least a 50% reduction in turnover as a direct result of the border restrictions.
This excludes operators who provide animal day care facilities.
Any business directly linked to the tourism and travel sector that can prove to the satisfaction of the Department's Chief Executive that it has and continues to suffer at least 50% reduction of turnover as a direct result of the border restrictions imposed due to COVID-19.
In order to qualify for the Scheme, applicants must:
a) Declare that the ongoing border restrictions, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has caused a 50% reduction in turnover
b) Declare that more than 50% of their annual income is gained from tourism and travel activities
c) Declare that to the best of its knowledge, it is the intention of the business 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) Have been in operation continuously for a period that commenced no later than 28th February 2020
e) Have annual profits or gains wholly or mainly from a relevant sector as set out in this guidance
f) Declare that the individual or business does not have any overdue payments of more than 3 months which are more than £3,000 relating to Income Tax, National Insurance and VAT
g) Meet other Income Tax, NI and VAT compliance criteria
Additional criteria specifically for self-employed applicants:
h) Be a self-employed earner as defined by the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992
i) 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
j) Earnings from self-employment must be greater than £6,500 per annum. Therefore the applicant must not have been granted a certificate of Small Earnings Exception or would have been granted such a certificate had an application to Treasury been made
k) In the event of the person's making an application to the Treasury for the purpose, not have his or her liability to pay Class 2 or Class 4 National Insurance contributions deferred or treated as deferred
l) For clarity notwithstanding that a person over state pension age is not liable to pay Class 1, Class 2 or Class 4 National Insurance contributions for the purposes of this scheme, therefore (j) and (k) apply to that person as though such a liability exists
m) When considering whether a self-employed person meets condition (i) above, Treasury will take into account the relevant facts and circumstances. In particular, an individual who has consistently declared their income from self-employment on their tax returns and paid the relevant income tax and class 4 national insurance contributions, will be treated for these purposes only as having notified the Treasury under regulation 87, even if their class 2 national insurance contribution record is currently incomplete
n) When considering whether a self-employed person meets condition (j) above, Treasury will take into account for these purposes only the fact that one of the purposes of this provision was to prevent those with other sources of income that are their main sources of income claiming the grant e.g. a person in full time employment who receives a small amount of self-employment income from a few hours worked as a sports coach. It was not intended to prevent those whose profits have dropped recently and their main source of income is their self-employment from qualifying.
- 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.
- Tourism accommodation providers, with the exception of registered permanent campsites, are ineligible under this Scheme but are encouraged to contact the Department's Visit Isle of Man Agency and enquire regarding the Strategic Capacity Scheme.
- If you operate a business with more than one employee (excluding yourself), please visit the Department's Financial Assistance Scheme guidelines and review Appendix 10.
Applicants should read the full Scheme Guidelines before submitting an application to the Department.
Other Available Support
The Coronavirus Business Support Scheme only provides support to sole traders/self-employed individuals within the tourism and travel sector however financial assistance is available to visitor accommodation providers and tourism/travel businesses with staff.
If you're a registered visitor accommodation provider, click here.
If you're a tourism/travel business with staff, click here.
Businesses who are unsure of their eligibility may contact the Department by telephone on 687333 or by completing the brief online enquiry form.