Families and businesses are beginning to receive financial aid promised to them to help them through the uncertainty created by the coronavirus crisis.
Payments have been made to businesses – with more to come – and the start of the daily school meals contributions for eligible families have also been made on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Conor Murphy is urging all public sector contractors to support construction firms engaged in essential works who are coming under financial pressure as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Public sector bodies are being asked to move quickly and immediately pay suppliers to help guarantee their survival and, where goods or services are halted, he said they should continue to pay at risk suppliers.
Minister Murphy also called on all construction companies continuing to provide essential services to comply fully with the Public Health Agency’s COVID-19 workplace guidelines.
It has also been confirmed that the first tranche of businesses – around 6,700 – received their £10,000 cash payments under the Small Business Grant Support scheme.
The scheme was approved last week by the Economy Minister Diane Dodds and, as of Tuesday, 12,000 more businesses had supplied their details.
Now the Education Authority has also set up BACS payments for 51,000 families covering 93,000 children who would normally receive free school meals.
As a result of the move announced last week by the Education Minister Peter Weir, families can expect to receive £2.70 per child per day for each day of term their schools are closed.
The first payments are being issued to families yesterday (Wednesday), today (Thursday) and Friday.