The Isle of Wight Council is appealing to all qualifying businesses who haven’t yet submitted their details for government grant payment, to do so as soon as possible.
More than 3,500 Island businesses have so far received grants totalling £40 million (at 12 May) – and the council has paid or been in contact with all those who have completed an online form for direct payment.
But there are still some who may potentially qualify who have not yet provided their details for direct payment. The form can be found at www.iow.gov.uk/covid19_businessadvice
The grants are for £10,000 or £25,000, depending on the criteria – and there has been extensive publicity as well as letters to property owners and operators to prompt them to provide their details, and emails to chase up those who have still not responded.
There are also some businesses that have applied but are required to supply further information to enable consideration of the grant.
Council leader, Councillor Dave Stewart, said: “Our staff are working tirelessly to try to reach these remaining properties and process payment, making contact through letters, emails and telephone. But we really need them to respond and provide all the required information so we can validate their details and process for payment.
“We are also aware there is a percentage who may no longer be in business, or who have changed premises or whose premises are currently vacant. Normally we would pick up on this changing information at this time of year in any case, as in March we send out the annual rates bills, which we have done this year.
“There may also be some businesses who may need clarification about whether they qualify, and others who have not provided details because they mistook the grants for loans. These are grants, which if a business properly qualifies, do not need to be paid back.”
The government scheme includes:
- small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief;
- grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value of more than £15,000 and less than £51,000;
- grant funding of £10,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value of £15,000 and under.
In total it was originally estimated there were potentially 5,000-plus qualifying businesses on the Island, but from that list it has been subsequently determined that 247 were not eligible. There are also about 200 businesses for whom there are still outstanding issues to resolve about their qualification.
“We are working our way as swiftly as we can through the list of those around whom there are issues to resolve,” said Councillor Stewart.
He added that the council was currently studying details (circulated by the government on 13 May) of an extra grant scheme aimed at other businesses which were outside the original criteria.
“Now that the government has circulated fuller information of this extra scheme we are taking a close look at its details – and hope to soon issue further information on which businesses can apply.
“We continue to remain determined that all Island businesses that qualify for government grants will receive the payments they vitally need at this time.”
Any businesses with further queries are asked to email email@example.com