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Covid-19 : Business Support 23.11.20 – Update 51 (1)

The Department for Finance (“DfF”) has today announced a support package of £300 million, including over £200 million for businesses and £98 million of Covid-19 funding to support the most vulnerable.

The business support package worth £213 million will include the following:

  1. £95 million for a High Street Voucher Scheme for a pre-paid card for use on the high street;
  2. £55 million to extend the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme to include non-essential retail, leisure and entertainment businesses now forced to close from Friday;
  3. £20 million to support company directors who have been without support to now;
  4. £20 million to extend the 12 month rate holiday to the manufacturing sector;
  5. £10.6 million to support wet pubs experiencing additional financial hardship;
  6. £5 million to top-up the Tourism & Hospitality scheme;
  7. £4.1 million for B&Bs which previously missed out on business support because they pay domestic rates; and
  8. £3 million to help businesses grow their online sales.

The Finance Minister, Conor Murphy continued that additionally, the Executive has also agreed to hold £150 million centrally for longer-term support on business rates.

A further £98 million was also agreed to provide support to education, councils, sport and to protect the vulnerable, which includes:

  1. £44.3 million to fund a one-off £200 heating payment for those with disabilities who are on a higher disability benefits and older people in receipt of pension credit;
  2. £26.4 million allocated to support schools, to include vital funding to ensure families of young people who are entitled to Free School Meals will receive food grants during school holidays;
  3. £5 million to support charities through the rest of the financial year; and
  4. £2.25 million provided to the Social Enterprise Support Fund to ensure grants can be paid to all eligible applicants

The Minister continued: “I am also making a further £10 million available to support sporting organisations, given the impact the restrictions are having on the sector, as well as an additional £10 million to local councils to ensure they can continue to deliver vital services.”

The Minister concluded: “The Executive does not underestimate the extreme pressures that our businesses and people are facing and this package signals our continued determination to support them.

Further details about the packages, including eligibility and how to apply will be released in the coming days/weeks.

ASM Contacts

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Grainne Quinn – Magherafelt

Ian Finnegan – Newry

Caroline Keenan – Belfast

Michael P. O’Hare – Dundalk

Alistair Cooke – Dungannon