Support For Businesses, Self Employed And Workers

Treasury has unveiled its latest round of Covid support ahead of the island’s second lockdown this year.

The Salary Support Scheme will again be opened to all of those businesses that were able to claim during the original period of lock down from the March 2 to July 19 2020. The method of claim remains the same. All applicants are reminded that they must be able to demonstrate 25% reduction in turnover. All those businesses seeking support for February (Period 13) can claim now, and applications for Period 14 will open on the 29th March. The Treasury Minister also announced the intention to increase the amount of the salary support payment from £280 a week to £310 a week.

Minister Alf Cannan said: ‘Whilst I am confident that our response to date has been robust and appropriate, I am concerned that a second circuit break in such close proximity will cause greater financial challenges for elements of our society and business. An order enabling an increase in the Salary Support payment is on the Order paper for March Tynwald.’

The Coronavirus Business Support Scheme (CBSS) will be reopened to support businesses and self-employed persons who have regular business overheads of £250 or more per month. Formed under the Coronavirus Business Support Scheme, the ‘CBSS – Circuit Break (March 2021)’ will offer a grant payment of £1,500 to eligible applicants who declare that they have a 25% or more reduction in turnover, and will be open to broadly the same sectors as in the January Circuit-break lockdown.

Construction and Horticultural businesses should only apply if they are impacted due to indoor working restrictions, a reduction in demand for services from customers or if workers are required to self-isolate/shield. All eligible applicants who received payment through the Scheme in January will be fast tracked, based on declarations that their situation remains unchanged. Applications can be submitted from 5pm tomorrow evening (Wednesday 3rd March). More information and a link to the Scheme will be available at: www.gov.im/coronavirus

Meanwhile the MERA payments, which have risen from £200 to £230 per week, will be available from March 3 to March 23. MERA will again be available to both employed earners who are made redundant, laid off or put on nil pay by their employer, and self-employed individuals who are prevented from carrying out their work due to the restrictions and who meet the qualifying conditions.