Discretionary grant scheme for business reopens following short review

The local discretionary grant scheme to help eligible Island businesses has reopened for applications from today (Thursday), following a short suspension to review the criteria and allocation of remaining funds.

A sum of around £1.34 million remains from the government allocation of £2.96 million, so businesses are asked to check the amended criteria to see if they qualify, and apply as swiftly as possible.

This can be done via www.iwight.com/covid19_businessadvice.

More than 200 additional Island businesses, covering a wide range of sectors, have so far received grant funding totalling £1.62 million under the discretionary grant scheme, set up locally by the Isle of Wight Council just three weeks ago.

The review has added privately run pre-schools and larger pubs to those businesses which may qualify. The council is endeavouring to directly contact businesses in these categories for which it has verifiable details around eligibility.

The council’s Economic Development Team was one of the first in the region to get a local discretionary grant scheme underway and has already helped many Island businesses which missed out under the government’s larger initial grant funding initiative.

The government allowed a degree of local discretion in applying the funding.

Council leader, Councillor Dave Stewart, said: “It is excellent we have been able to extend our local criteria to help more Island businesses in these crucial areas, and I would urge them to apply as soon as possible to have the best chance of accessing this funding.

“The £1.62 million we have been able to allocate to 200 additional Island businesses under the discretionary scheme is in addition to the £45.7 million we have paid out to 4,002 Island businesses under the government’s initial grant scheme for small business and the retail, hospitality and leisure sector.

“We envisage the remaining £1.34 million of the discretionary funding will be fairly swiftly allocated, so it is vital businesses check the criteria and apply as soon as possible if they believe they are eligible.”