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Financial support announced for NI businesses set to be hit in pocket by four weeks of restrictions

The Finance Minister said 'payments will be made promptly using information held by Land & Property Services'

Money

Finance Minister Conor Murphy has announced a new financial support scheme for businesses subject to restrictions across all 11 council areas.

Making the announcement, MinisterMurphy said: “I recognise the profound impact the new restrictions will have on businesses forced to temporarily limit their operations.

“Following the additional funding the Executive received of £200m I have doubled the payments announced for the Derry & Strabane District Council area.

“This new scheme will apply to all council areas and for many businesses payments will be made promptly using information held by Land & Property Services.

“I know there are many businesses who haven’t benefitted from previous support schemes. I have asked Executive colleagues to urgently bring forward proposals for sectors they have responsibility for.”

The Localised Restrictions Support Scheme opened for businesses in Derry City and Strabane District Council area on Wednesday and will open for all council areas on Monday, October 19.

It is estimated the cost of rolling the scheme out to all councils will be £35 million for four weeks.

Under the scheme businesses will receive the following amounts for every two weeks they are closed:

Small businesses (not exceeding £15k Net Annual Value) – £1,600
Medium businesses (over £15k Net Annual Value and not exceeding £51k Net Annual Value) – £2,400
Large businesses (over £51k Net Annual Value) – £3,200

The scheme that will apply to businesses, subject to eligibility criteria, includes:

Cafes, pubs and restaurants that have been temporarily forced to close or limit their services to a takeaway service instead;
Hotels and guest houses;
Close contact services in or (using) commercial premises such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, day spas, nail bars and tattoo parlours forced to close; and;
Other businesses which, under the Health Protection Regulations are required to cease to carry on that business or to provide that service, include cinemas, museums, galleries, trampoline parks, inflatable parks, escape rooms, bowling alleys and ice rinks.

Businesses in the Derry and Strabane Council area who have already applied to the scheme do not need to re-apply – they will automatically receive the higher payment.

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