The Isle of Wight Council has processed payments totalling £23.6 million to more than 1,940 Island business ratepayers eligible for vital government grant support, as of today (Monday).
Council staff are working tirelessly to get the funds out to all those who qualify.
Qualifying businesses who are still waiting are being thanked for their patience – and asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org if they have any questions over their eligibility or their payments.
The government grant support is in the following categories:
- 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.
The council is processing payments to:
- those who qualify and for who it already had up to date bank details at 11 March this year (the government specified date);
- those who qualify, who have recently supplied up to date information via an online application form.
The council created and regularly publicised a special online form on its website at www.iow.gov.uk/covid19_businessadvice to allow those business ratepayers who believe they qualify to provide their latest details to help with swift payment. So far more than 2,800 business ratepayers have completed the form.
The council is also due to send letters out to capture details from any business ratepayers it believes may qualify, who may not yet have completed the form.
Isle of Wight Council leader, Councillor Dave Stewart, said: “We are acutely aware that there may be eligible businesses out there still waiting to receive their funding. We have combined several council teams to ensure we can process these payments as swiftly as possible, and I’d like to pay tribute to the enormous efforts that are being made by many council officers in this area.
“We are determined to get these funds out as quickly as we are able, and I know many are already in receipt of this vital support, but there are others still waiting. Please be reassured, if you qualify, we will get to you.
“We are committed to doing our utmost to help Island businesses and business ratepayers access crucial government funding at this very difficult time. Details of the various areas of government support can be found on our website. We are also continuing to encourage those who believe they qualify to provide us with their latest details for payment, via the form at that web address.”
It is estimated there are more than 4,000 Island businesses who qualify for the business rates grant support.
For some who qualify there may be further clarification needed over their details, to protect against issues such as fraud, and it may take a little longer to complete payment. The council is obliged to ensure all recipients for payment fully comply with the government criteria.
There may also be some businesses who are not sure if they qualify and so have not completed the form. They are being encouraged to email email@example.com to check their eligibility. So far more than 800 email enquiries have been received at this address and responded to.
The council has endeavoured to extensively publicise the grant support scheme, in support of widespread government promotion, and has worked with local groups to do so, including the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Business and Visit Isle of Wight.
Councillor Stewart added: “We really are doing our utmost to get the word out there about the availability of these grants for those who qualify, and to ensure we have the latest information to process payment to them.
“We fully appreciate these are very tough times and that every day without income can be make or break to our Island businesses. If you have any concerns over your eligibility or payments, please do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”