Coronavirus (COVID-19) –

Protect yourself and others

The British Chambers of Commerce is working with Government to mitigate the impact of Coronavirus on business communities.

IW Chamber is monitoring the situation very closely and following the advice of our partners in the British Chambers of Commerce, the Isle of Wight Council and the NHS. We will provide updates regarding our events if and when the situation changes.

“The situation is changing day-to-day and many Island businesses are bracing themselves for difficult situations and difficult choices. Like every other business, the IW Chamber is responding in real-time to an evolving situation. The IW Chamber is the voice of Island businesses and we will continue to represent the voice of our members in this crisis.

“Businesses are currently in desperate need of clarity around access to the new government support packages. I am in daily contact with the Island’s MP Bob Seely and in regular contact with IW Council Chief Executive John Metcalfe. Every concern presented to me personally has been passed on to the MP for his response and so he can understand and best press the concerns of Island businesses to government.”

Steven Holbrook, IW Chamber CEO


UK Government Guidance for Employers and Businesses
For the latest guidance from Public Health England and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, click here 

This page features the latest published advice and the guidance will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to their staff on:

  • the novel coronavirus, COVID-19
  • how to help prevent spread of COVID-19
  • what to do if someone has symptoms of COVID-19 has been in business settings
  • eligibility for sick pay

To view the government’s COVID-19 Action Plan you can click here 

 Government Support for Businesses
The Government is supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures during this period of unprecedented disruption. The Business Support website helps you find the right support, advice and information to help with the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on your business. This website will continue to be updated as information becomes available. 

 A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees. Find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply here.

This guidance provides details of support available to businesses including:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • Self-employment Income Support Scheme
  • statutory sick pay relief package for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • 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 between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme to help with tax


HM Treasury response
How to access government financial support if you or your business has been affected by COVID-19

On 17 March, the Chancellor announced an unprecedented package of government-backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses, making available an initial £330bn of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of GDP. The government will take new legal powers in the COVID-19 Bill, enabling it to offer whatever further financial support it thinks necessary to support businesses.

This document sets out further information on how you or your business can access if you are experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19.

Isle of Wight Council
Island businesses seeking key updates on access to government relief funding are being encouraged to visit a special page on the Isle of Wight Council’s website.

The new page at is being updated as further information becomes available from the government over the coming days, including details of accessing business rates support.

If you think your business qualifies for these measures of financial support, please fill in the IW Council online form to provide details to assist them with the processing of payments:  Application form for support for businesses affected by Covid-19 (Coronavirus) 

To fill in the form you will need the following:

  • Account number (as per business rates bill)
  • Name of ratepayer
  • Company name & number (as per Companies House)
  • VAT number
  • Your bank details


Business Rates – Local Authority Guidance
For guidance on Business Rates Relief and Business Rates Retail Discount click here:

British Chambers of Commerce
IW Chamber is an accredited member of the British Chambers of Commerce. The Chamber Network is at the forefront of helping businesses across the UK manage the impact of Coronavirus. Visit the BCC’s Coronavirus Hub to keep your business up to date with all the latest guidance and support available. Get the latest from the BCC here

Read the BCC’s FAQs on UK government support measures here 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Government grants will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers, up to a total of £2,500 a month. The scheme, open to any employer in the country, will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st and will be open before the end of April for at least 3 months.

If you have questions about the Job Retention Scheme you can read the BCC’s FAQs here

Find out more about the furloughing process here:

Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

Find out about the SEISS scheme here –

Read the Self-employment Income Support Scheme FAQ page here –

Bob Seely MP
Find out the latest from Bob Seely here –

Solent LEP
The Solent LEP are providing a range of on-going support to businesses in the Solent region through their Coronavirus Support Hub. –

The latest Coronavirus advice from the NHS can be found here

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading
Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible

  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household

  • any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

  • travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home




Island Business March 2020

Island Business March 2020

Gold Patron – WightFibre

Gold Patron – WightFibre



03apr7:30 am9:30 amIW Chamber Business Breakfast at The Garlic Farm

07apr2:30 pm4:30 pmProperty Investment Workshop with Red Squirrel Property Shop

16apr7:30 am9:30 amThursday Tea and Toast Networking - Artisan

20apr10:00 am12:00 pm'What to Expect When the Inspector Calls...' with Hillbans Pest Control

21apr9:30 am4:30 pmEmergency First Aid at Work 1 Day Course - Good Skills Training

21apr(apr 21)9:30 am23(apr 23)4:30 pmEmergency First Aid at Work 3 Day Course - Good Skills Training

21apr2:30 pm4:30 pmAfternoon Tea at Quarr Abbey

24apr9:30 am1:30 pmSocial Media for Business Success – with Nosy Marketing

28apr9:30 am12:00 pmAn Introduction to R&D Tax Credits for Companies

29apr9:30 am4:30 pmMaking Your Business More Accessible for Employees and Customers

30apr9:30 am4:00 pmOne-Day Business Start Up Course


08may9:30 am12:00 pmThe 5 Most Important Pages On Your Firm's Website with Dave Simon

13may7:30 am9:30 amWednesday Tea and Toast Networking - Caffe Isola

14may9:30 am4:30 pmManaging & Influencing Ourselves - and Others! with Ed Grey, BlueTouchPaper Consulting

20may9:30 am12:30 pmUsing Facebook Advertising for Beginners – with Nosy Marketing

28may9:30 am4:00 pmOne-Day Business Start Up Course

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