The Department for Enterprise has announced that it will offer an extended range of support to tourism and travel businesses which continue to be financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as a direct result of the continuing restrictions on the Island’s borders.
The new measures mean that there is a second payment available for those who have applied previously under the Strategic Capacity Scheme, based on their registered accommodation across a range of accommodation categories.
Further support is also being made available to businesses and the self-employed in the broader Tourism and Travel sector. Businesses who significantly rely on tourism income may also apply for a contribution towards salary and ongoing overhead costs, whilst self-employed in these sectors may be eligible for a further grant of up to £3,000.
The latest support has been made available in an effort to ensure the Island retains its strategic capacity in the tourism sector with a view to enabling a more rapid recovery as the Island emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. These extended support packages are in addition to the Salary Support Scheme, which will continue for the Tourism and Travel sectors until at least September 2020.
Full details on this substantial set of support packages and application forms will be available from Friday 10th July at: https://www.iomdfenterprise.im/financial-support/funding/coronavirus-business-support-scheme/
Minister for Enterprise, Laurence Skelly MHK, commented:
‘As a Government, our focus remains on making decisions that balance our Island’s health, societal and economic needs. We have successfully suppressed the spread of COVID-19 here in the Island, and the ability to take clear and decisive action to close our borders has played a vital role in this, however, some sectors continue to be significantly impacted by these decisions and we recognise the considerable challenges they are facing at this time.
‘We have been consulting closely with industry partners and representatives of the tourism and travel sector to understand the best ways to support going forward. The recent announcement of an air bridge between Guernsey and the Isle of Man is a small positive step forward and provides opportunity for businesses to start to welcome visitors once again, but we recognise that the sector also requires ongoing tangible support to best enable our recovery once borders are able to fully reopen.
‘Given that the continued border restrictions are an ongoing necessity to protect the whole Island, it is appropriate to extend further financial support to businesses who are wholly affected by this choice.
‘Whilst the future cannot be certain, it is clear from where we sit today that we are unlikely to be able to welcome visitors to our shores again until at least the end of September 2020, and consequently this next phase of support for this quarter to the end of September will help sustain this industry in readiness for what we hope will be a strong recovery in 2021. It will also allow more time for us all to better understand what the winter period may look like and what support may be required.’