Orkney Islands Council expects to be very busy with a ‘high demand’ for the Scottish Government’s Island Equivalent Payment Fund which will be administered by the OIC.
For businesses that meet the eligibility criteria the fund will provide vital financial support.
Commenting on the funding support Orkney constituency MSP Liam McArthur, LibDem said:
“Confirmation that eligible businesses in level three areas can now apply for the top-up funding previously announced by the Finance Secretary will come as a relief to businesses in Orkney.
“Level three restrictions have effectively posed the same significant challenges for businesses in Orkney as those in other parts of the country given that everyone is being encouraged to stay home at the moment. Many businesses in Orkney are only just getting by as a result and desperately need support to offer them some certainty.
“To her credit, the Finance Secretary recognised this problem during our discussions and agreed to work with local authorities to make available island equivalent grants. I’m glad that this has now been established, putting businesses in Orkney on a similar footing to those elsewhere in Scotland.
“However, it has taken time to get to this point, making it all the more important that funding now gets out the door as quickly as possible. Some local businesses are in a very precarious position and can’t afford to wait any longer to get access to this essential funding.”
Orkney Islands Council, however, have asked businesses who do apply to be aware that it will take them some time to get through the applications.
“we will not be able to consider every application within a few days of receipt. Great care will be taken to ensure you receive all the support you are eligible for.”
Retrospective payments of £2,000 or £3,000 (depending on rateable value) will be available covering the period from 26 December 2020 to 24 January 2021. Further payments may be made if current Covid-19 restrictions continue over the weeks ahead.
Click on this link for the Eligibility page here https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-strategic-framework-business-fund/pages/eligibility/ and check if your type of enterprise is included on the Level 4 list of eligible businesses.
Some Orkney business have previously applied for support from the Strategic Framework Business Fund. These businesses do not need to apply again. The original applications will be checked again to see if they qualify for a payment from the Island Equivalent Payment Fund.
Local enterprises that have not previously applied should, after first checking eligibility, make an application here www.orkney.gov.uk/CV-Biz
Guidance and an online application form can be found in the ‘support’ section – look for Scottish Government Island Equivalent Payment on that page.
For eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, this will include a one-off top up payment of:
- £25,000 for larger hospitality businesses (rateable value of £51,001 or higher).
- £6,000 for smaller hospitality businesses (rateable value of £51,000 or less).
- £9,000 for larger retail and leisure businesses (rateable value of £51,001 or higher).
- £6,000 for smaller retail and leisure businesses (rateable value of £51,000 or less).
You do not need to apply for a top-up payment. This will be assessed when you apply for funding from the Island Equivalent Payment Fund – or from your original application if you previously applied for support from the Strategic Framework Business Fund. Top up payments and changes to ongoing payments will be made automatically.
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Provided they are registered for non-domestic rates, self-catering properties, guest houses and B&Bs qualify for Island Equivalent Payment Fund support. But the Scottish Government has advised that the hospitality top-up will not be payable to businesses of this kind, which will be further supported by targeted schemes currently being developed by the Government and sector representatives.
Since April last year, the Council has already administered and delivered around £10 million of support to local businesses, including around £2 million from OIC’s own funds.
Island Equivalent Payment Fund payments will be:
- £2,000 for eligible businesses with a rateable value of up to and including £51,000.
- £3,000 for eligible businesses with a rateable value of £51,001 and above.
Further information on the Islands Equivalent Payment Fund is available here: https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/service/funding/island-equivalent-payment