Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has this week announced £178 million in new business support grants which should support around 20,000 businesses.

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.”

Hill Street, Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

The schemes, which will support almost 20,000 businesses include: 

  •  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.

The Department of Finance will now bring forward the Regulations needed to make these payments and will release further information once the Regulations are made at WWW.NIBUSINESSINFO.CO.UK

The business grants draw on Covid funding that has to be utilised by the end of the financial year, the Minister continued: “In the absence of further bids from Departments, I am now activating my contingency plans to support the economy.  Land & Property Service within my Department has again stepped up to deliver much needed support to businesses. These grants will benefit a mixture of businesses including those not provided with grant funding earlier this year, and businesses which have been allowed to remain open but which have experienced a significant reduction in trade due to the restrictions.”

Notes to editors:

1. In order to deliver these schemes the Department has again requested Exceptional Circumstances powers.

£50,000 Grant:

  • £50,000 for businesses with an 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: three 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 the grant.

£25,000 Grant:

  •  £25,000 payment for manufacturers with an NAV between £15,001 and £51,000.
  •  Payments will be automatic.

£10,000 Grant:

  • £10,000 for businesses that received the £25,000 Retail, Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Grant and have not been paid LRSS or CRBSS Part B.
  • Payments will be automatic.

 £5,000 Grant:

  • £5,000 for businesses that received the £10,000 Small Business Support Grant and have not been paid LRSS or CRBSS 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.
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