The Department for Enterprise has announced extensions to financial support schemes for Travel and Tourism businesses which remain financially affected by the continuing restrictions placed on the Island’s borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Strategic Capacity Scheme (‘SCS’), Coronavirus Business support Scheme (‘CBSS’), and Financial Assistance Scheme (‘FAS’) have all been extended to 31 March 2021 in order to support businesses affected by border closures during the forthcoming ‘off-season’ period. The funding forms part of a wider winter support package for the Travel and Tourism industry, and sits alongside news that Isle of Man Treasury have also extended the Salary Support Scheme for eligible tourism businesses.
Details of the extended schemes are as follows:
Strategic Capacity Scheme (Round 3) for Tourist Accommodation
The Strategic Capacity Scheme, for Tourist Accommodation businesses that have lost revenue due to border closures, has been supported with a further £4.5million as part of the Isle of Man Government’s Economic Recovery Fund.
The updated scheme and subsequent round 3 funding will provide financial support to eligible accommodation businesses to cover the period 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021. The Round 3 funding provides support for all eligible premises, regardless of their star rating. Further, all eligible businesses will be able to apply for the third round of funding, irrespective of whether they have received round one and / or two of the Strategic Capacity Scheme.
The continued support for these businesses has been designed to help businesses retain staff and skills, as well providing a level of support to fixed overheads over the winter period.
The Coronavirus Business Support Scheme (Round 3) for Travel and Tourism businesses without staff
The Coronavirus Business Support Scheme has also been extended to 31 March 2021. The third round of CBSS offers financial support to eligible self-employed applicants in the form of a grant payment of up to £3,000.
Eligible applicants must operate within the Travel and Tourism sector, gaining more than 50% of their annual income from outbound or inbound Travel and Tourism activities, and must be able to demonstrate that the ongoing border restrictions have caused a 50% reduction in turnover.
Financial Assistance Scheme for Travel and Tourism Businesses with Staff
Support for Travel and Tourism Businesses under the Department for Enterprise’s Financial Assistance Scheme is available for broader Travel and Tourism related sectors that derive a significant majority of their revenue from inbound visitors, or leisure and business travellers both to and from the Island and have staff members.
Eligible businesses can apply for up to 50% of residual salaries and overheads, and must be able to demonstrate a reduction in turnover of 25% or more. The emergency assistance package initially ran until 30 September 2020 but this has also been extended to 31 March 2021.
Laurence Skelly, Minister for Enterprise, commented:
‘It is our role as Government to provide direct economic support to businesses who have been impacted by national policy decisions to control the spread of COVID-19 until such time that they can operate and trade on a fair and equitable basis. We recognise that the Travel and Tourism Industry remain severely impacted by the continuing situation, and will be for some time. The latest round of support has been made available to ensure the Island retains its strategic capacity with the accommodation sector and is positioned for recovery when the Island emerges from the pandemic.
‘The Travel and Tourism industry plays a critical role in promoting the Island not only as a great place to visit, but also to live and work. Businesses within the industry provide services to our residents as well as visitors and we must ensure they receive the support needed to continue operating for the benefit of all.’
Further support available for travel and tourism businesses
The Department for Enterprise continues to provide a range of business support schemes and assistance for a range of sectors, including Travel and Tourism businesses. In particular, recent announcements regarding the Department for Enterprise’s Business Improvement Scheme, which has been extended to provide increased support for website developments and social media projects may be of interest to eligible members of the Travel and Tourism industry.
Schemes are also available for Douglas Promenade businesses, external improvements, staff training and business advice/ mentoring.
Businesses wishing to apply for the Strategic Capacity Scheme (Tourist Accommodation) Round 3 Funding or Coronavirus Business Support scheme will be able to do so from Thursday 1 October at the Department for Enterprise's Funding page.