Chamber offers extra advice and support to businesses during lockdown | January 2021

Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce has responded immediately with a raft of measures to help all IOM businesses – both Chamber members and non-members – during the lockdown.

Date: Wednesday 06 January 2021

The Island’s biggest business network has already issued useful guidance to members which provides essential information. Chamber is also directing businesses to its Advisory Service (click here for details or go to www.iomchamber.org.im) if they need help from members. Companies that have specific, detailed or complex questions about how the lockdown affects their business are being advised to direct them via Chamber’s question portal (https://app.sli.do/event/weynbpsk) in order that they can be directed to Government accordingly.

Chamber CEO Rebecca George said: “Our top priority is to help businesses to understand and abide by the lockdown rules to ensure everyone stays safe. As we did during the first IOM lockdown, we’re also offering advice and support that will help businesses to access the assistance they need – this support includes advice and information from Chamber’s Advisory Platform which proved to be a very valuable resource during the first lockdown.”

Rebecca George, CEO, Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce.

Here’s a summary of Chamber’s initial advice for businesses:

General guidance
• Employers are required to take the stay at home obligation seriously and do everything they can to facilitate working from home. Limited specific sectors will be able to continue work when they are classed as an essential service.

Business Closures
• To help reinforce social distancing all non-essential services and community spaces will now be closed (from 23:00 on Tuesday 05 January 2021). The full list of closures and exemptions can be found at https://covid19.gov.im/businesses/business-closures/ or by clicking here.


The Manx Earnings Replacement Allowance (MERA)
• Claims can be made online at gov.im/coronavirus from 9am on Thursday 7 January. Anyone who is unable to make their claim online should call 648125 or email mera@gov.im
• MERA will again be available to both employed earners and self-employed people who are made redundant, laid off or put on nil pay by their employer
• It will also be available to those who are self-employed but who are prevented from carrying out their work due to the restrictions and meet the qualifying conditions
• MERA will be paid at a standard rate of £200 a week. Initially, MERA will be paid up to 31 January 2021
• Unemployed and self-employed people who are not eligible for MERA may be eligible for jobseekers’ allowance instead
• Queries regarding MERA can be directed to the allocated MERA telephone line 648125 which will open tomorrow morning (Wednesday 6 January) at 9am. Queries can also be sent by email to mera@gov.im

Salary Support Scheme
• The Salary Support Scheme is being reopened to all businesses that were able to claim during last year’s period of lockdown, 2 March to 19 July 2020
• This is designed to ensure that businesses impacted by the circuit break action can continue to pay their employees
• The method of claiming remains the same, along with the amount of support, which provides financial assistance to any qualifying business of up to £280 for a full-time equivalent employee per week
• The scheme will be open for an initial period beginning on the 4 January and ending on 31 January 2021

Please go to the Chamber website www.iomchamber.org.im and follow our social media channels for all the latest news and information.