Government Support Schemes Further Extended to Support Phased Reopening of Sectors
The Economic Recovery Group, chaired by Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan MHK and Minister for Enterprise Laurence Skelly MHK, has announced that Support Schemes for businesses, the self-employed and individuals will be further extended to provide continuing assistance to those that require it.
The Schemes have been extended to reflect the phased transition back to work for many sectors, which begins with outdoor trades and construction on Tuesday (6th April). It is hoped that a gradual return will be implemented across the coming weeks, with the majority of sectors likely to return on or around the 19th April. These dates remain subject to change, and there may be opportunity for some businesses to return on or around the 12th April, subject to assessment of the current situation and subsequent decisions by Council of Ministers next week.
The Salary Support Scheme, which currently provides £310 per employee per week to businesses, will continue through to the end of May to support businesses that are transitioning back to full capacity and remain in an impacted position, and require support.
The Manx Earnings Replacement Allowance (‘MERA’) will be extended, at the rate of £230 per week, to 26th April 2021.
The Coronavirus Business Support Scheme will run a further £1,000 automatic payment to allow for the potential two week lead-in to reopening. This scheme will exclude the construction sector due to its ability to broadly reopen, however, as is the case currently, businesses within this sector may apply to be assessed on a case by case basis if they remain unable to reopen.
Furthermore, the Business Premises Support Grant was announced earlier today and this new scheme provides a grant payment - equivalent to one years’ rates - to qualifying businesses with commercial premises, as well as a one-off payment of £250 to businesses within the hospitality and catering sector which would usually open during a weekend, and either closed early or remained closed over the weekend of Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th February 2021, in line with Government Coronavirus advice issued that weekend.
Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan MHK, said:
‘I am pleased that we are now able to begin the process of reopening sectors of our economy and this will come as welcome news to many businesses and individuals. Much of the construction sector will be returning on Tuesday, and, while the hope is that the majority of further business sectors will be able to reopen on or around the 19th April, this will be dependent upon our continued suppression of the virus.
‘We understand that those who are impacted require certainty of assistance and therefore this announcement provides reassurance that support will be extended. We are continuing to review and evaluate both immediate support needs and attached initiatives to stabilise the economy, protect jobs and invest in our future’
Full details of current support schemes are available at: https://covid19.gov.im/business-guidance/