MORE than £62 million has been given to the Isle of Wight Council to support Island businesses during the coronavirus crisis — with more than 1.730 businesses signing up in the last two weeks.

In a government grant, the council has received £62.8 million to help qualifying business ratepayers and is hoping to make payments to those eligible as soon as it can — which the council say could be as soon as next week.

Council leader, Cllr Dave Stewart, said: “It is excellent news that this much needed funding has now been received from the government, and we are working urgently to get the payments made as soon as we are able.

"We fully appreciate the severe pressures many businesses are under at this time."

However, businesses will need to check if they are eligible, providing the relevant details to ensure payment — which can be done via a from on the council's website.

Three grants are available for businesses to claim, in these categories:

  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all eligible business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.
  • Grant funding of £10,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value of £15,000 and under.
  • 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.

Cllr Stewart said: "It is essential we have the latest, up to date, details to achieve direct and swift payment for each business, so I would urge those businesses who believe they qualify to complete the form on our website.

"Thank you to the many who have already done so.

"Our staff are working incredibly hard to process these details and payments on your behalf, so please remain patient while this takes place over the coming days.

"We understand how important these funds are to your business and it is our priority to get payment to you as quickly as we can.

“We remain committed and determined to ensuring all those who qualify will this receive vital support at this very difficult time.”

Other information about areas of government support is available on the councils website — here.

UPDATE, 1pm: Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has said he welcomes the money that has come through for local businesses. 

He said: "I know from speaking to Island businesses and the IW Chamber of Commerce that businesses need that support now.

“It is important these payments are expedited to keep Island businesses alive and people employed.

“I know the council is working hard to ensure these payments get to where they are needed as quickly as possible. I thank them for the important work they are doing.

“More needs to be done to keep our businesses going, and Islanders in employment, but this funding coming through now addresses some initial, major concerns and is an important step in the right direction.”