Coronavirus (Covid-19) Hub

Covid-19 : Business Support 08.01.21 – Update 53

The Department for the Economy (“DfE”) has announced an extension to the NSESS in addition to the reopening of the Coronavirus Restrictions Business Support Scheme.

Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme (“NSESS”)
The closing date for the NSESS has been extended until Friday 5th February 2021. In addition to the extension, there has been a change to the eligibility criteria for the NSESS. The previous requirement that 50% of income in 2019/20 must have been from self-employment has been amended to allow those who commenced self-employment later in the financial year to qualify for support. If individuals can demonstrate that they moved from paid employment to self-employment during 2019/20, their income from the previous employment will not be considered. The remaining eligibility criteria has not changed.

Coronavirus Restrictions Business Support Scheme (“CRBSS”)
The CRBSS is reopen to cover the period from 7th January 2020 to 5th February 2021. The CRBSS is administered by Invest NI on behalf of the DfE and is operated in two parts:

  • Part A – A business that is required to close or cease trading under the Health Protection Regulations but is not eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Scheme (“LRSS”). Successful applicants to Part A of the CRBSS will automatically receive an additional payment to cover the extended period of restrictions while they are required to stay closed. Eligible businesses will receive a grant equivalent to £600 for each week the initial Regulations are in place. This will be paid in one lump sum.
  • Part B – A business which has not been forced to close, but is part of the direct supply chain to a business that is forced to close/cease trading under the Health Protection Regulations, and as a result it has been severely impacted. A one-off grant is available to eligible businesses, subdivided between those paying business rates and those that do not.

Wet Pubs Business Support Scheme (“WPBSS”)
In addition, earlier in the week the DfE launched a new scheme specifically for wet pubs. The Wet Pubs Business Support Scheme (“WPBSS”) will provide £10.6m to drink-only public houses which were forced to close between 4th July and 23rd September when the rest of the hospitality sector was permitted to open and trade. Payments will be based on the NAV rating of the business. The payment structure, which is consistent with that of the LRSS, is set out below:

  • Total NAV £15,000 and less: £800 per week x 12 weeks
  • Total NAV £15,001 to £51,000: £1,200 per week x 12 weeks
  • Total NAV over £51,000: £1,600 per week x 12 weeks

In light of the above we have updated our Business Support document to provide a summary of the key supports available presently. This can be viewed here.

We note that our summary document does not cover loan funds, such as the Bounce Back Loan scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Covid-19 Equity Investment Fund, Future Fund for innovative businesses, General Export Facility, Innovation Continuity Loans or the Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility for large companies. However, additional information on the loans can be found here.

Also, we note that businesses / organisations are encouraged to make contact with the local Council to confirm if there are any further Covid-19 supports being currently administered by them, that they could potential avail of.

ASM Contacts

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Grainne Quinn – Magherafelt
grainne.quinn@asmmagherafelt.com

Ian Finnegan – Newry
ian.finnegan@asmnewry.com

Caroline Keenan – Belfast
caroline.keenan@asmbelfast.com

Michael P. O’Hare – Dundalk
michael.p.ohare@asmdundalk.com

Alistair Cooke – Dungannon
alistair.cooke@asmdungannon.com