Bob urges Island businesses to check funding criteria

MP Bob Seely has again encouraged Island businesses to take advantage of emergency funding which is available through the Solent Local Economic Partnership (LEP).

Bob said: “There are two funds available for Isle of Wight businesses. The first is the Isle of Wight Rural Business Resilience Fund, exclusively for Island businesses, offering matched-funded grants.

“The second is the Crowdfunding Programme ‘Pay it Forward’ which provides support for existing micro and small businesses seeking to cope in challenging trading conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I encourage all small and medium-sized Island businesses to check whether they are eligible for this support. These are unprecedented times that are causing real issues for all sorts of businesses. This support exists to help businesses through this difficult period – it could provide a lifeline to many.”

Graham Biss of Natural Enterprise, managing the Rural Business Resilience Fund, said: “The Fund has already been a great success but we want more rural businesses to come forward with their applications for funding.

“The process is very straightforward and the Approvals Panel meets daily to ensure approved projects receive their grant quickly. Further information can be found at or by contacting 07813 066509.”

Brian Johnson of the Solent LEP said: “The Pay it Forward fund is looking for projects that can demonstrate how they will help a business cope with current challenging trading conditions. There is a maximum pledge from the LEP of up to £2,000 per micro business (fewer than 10 staff) and up to £5,000 per small business (fewer than 50 staff) available, contributing up to 50% towards the total target.

“We want to help small companies to keep trading, to maintain cash flow and to stay connected with their customers during these uncertain times. The funding is also there to help them bounce back once the situation is resolved.”