Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has announced an unprecedented £213m rates support package for businesses.
This builds on the £100m scheme announced by the Finance Minister in March which gave all businesses a three month rates holiday.
The new scheme, developed with independent analysis from the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre, will see the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic pay no rates for the full financial year up until 31 March 2021.
Those sectors are:
- hospitality, tourism and leisure
- retail (excluding certain supermarkets and off-licences)
- Belfast City, Belfast International and City of Derry Airports.
The rates support packages will also see all businesses received a one-month extension of the rates holiday up to 31 July 2020.
Minister Murphy said: “The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the economy. The initial rates support package helped businesses with immediate cash-flow difficulties during the lockdown.
“As the Executive begins to ease the restrictions which have been necessary to save lives, I am pleased to announce this new scheme which importantly provides all businesses with an extended rates holiday for July.
“Further support is then targeted at the sectors which will be in greatest need in the months ahead. This includes retail, hospitality, tourism, leisure, childcare and airports.
“This rates package, which is aligned with the Executive’s pathway to recovery, brings the total support for businesses from rates relief and grants to almost £700m.”
Notes to editors:
- The £213m rates support package includes the following:
- 100% Relief for Hospitality, Tourism, Leisure and Retail properties (with the exception of retail food stores over 300m² and off-licences) to 31 March 2021 - £175m
- Continue existing 100% business rates holiday for all properties for a further 1 month to end of July (excluding public sector and utilities) - £34.5m
- 100% rates relief for Belfast International, Belfast City & City of Derry until 31 March 2021 - £2.2m
- Provide 100% rates relief for Childcare Establishments until 31 March 2021 - £1.4m
- A £100m rates package for businesses was announced on 17 March – https://www.finance-ni.gov.uk/news/covid-19-ps100m-emergency-rates-package-businesses.
- Policy advice for Minister - Rates Relief Information Paper - https://www.finance-ni.gov.uk/node/44363