Welcome news for many local businesses as the Finance Minister, Conor Murphy MLA announces £178 million in new business support grants.
Making the announcement, Conor Murphy said: “These grant schemes, together with the 12 months rates holiday, will provide a lifeline for many businesses who continue to confront the challenges of COVID-19. This package of support will help businesses and safeguard jobs through the period ahead as we emerge from the current restrictions.”
The schemes will support almost 20,000 businesses including: a £50,000 grant for large businesses unable to access grant funding during the first lockdown; a £25,000 payment to manufacturing businesses unable to access grant funding during the first lockdown; and top-up payments of £5,000 and £10,000 for businesses which received grants during the first lockdown but are not eligible for one of the current Executive support schemes.
Funds are expected to be credited into accounts within the month as Department of Finance brings forward regulations needed to make payments.
The schemes, which will support almost 20,000 businesses include:
£50,000 grant for large businesses unable to access grant funding during the first lockdown.
- £50,000 for businesses with a Net Annual Value (NAV) over £51,000 that are eligible for the 12 months rates holiday (retail, hospitality, leisure, tourism, manufacturing, childcare, newspaper producers).
- Examples of the kinds of business that this will benefit are shops, car showrooms, garden centres, gyms and fitness suites, equestrian centres, and caravan parks.
- The following exclusions apply: 3 main airports, businesses that qualify for the Department for Economy Large Tourism and Hospitality Business Support Scheme, sports clubs and culture, arts and heritage premises that qualify for one of the Department for Communities support schemes, food retail and petrol filling stations.
- As with the previous grant schemes, only one grant will be paid for businesses with multiple premises. Businesses with vacant properties and businesses in administration will not receive the grant.
- Businesses will have to apply for this grant.
£25,000 payment to manufacturing businesses unable to access grant funding during the first lockdown.
- £25,000 payment for manufacturers with a Net Annual Value (NAV) between £15,001 and £51,000.
- Payments will be automatic.
- £10,000 payment for businesses that received the £25,000 Retail, Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Grant and have not been paid under the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme or Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme: Part B
- £5,000 for businesses that received the £10,000 Small Business Support Grant and have not been paid under the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme or Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme: Part B.
- Businesses which have ceased trading since the £10,000 grant was paid and those paid the £10,000 grant in error (including constituency offices and wind turbines) are excluded.
- Eligible businesses will include ‘essential retail’ currently allowed to remain open (such as hardware, butchers, home bakeries, delis, convenience stores, post offices, pet shops, pharmacies, paint and decorating shops, building suppliers, small manufacturing businesses, small professional services businesses (accountants, solicitors, financial services), allied health services (dentists, podiatrists, physiotherapists).
- Payment will be automatic.
The Department of Finance will now bring forward the Regulations needed to make these payments and will release further info once the Regulations are made.
Read more about what types of businesses qualify for each grant below.