Murphy opens financial support scheme for businesses subject to restrictions

Date published: 19 October 2020

A financial support scheme for businesses subject to the latest restrictions under the Health Protection Regulations has opened for applications.

Localised restrictions support scheme open for applications

Opening the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme, Finance Minister, Conor Murphy said: “From today, businesses across all council areas, required to close or severely limit their operations by the Regulations, will be able to apply for financial support.

“I am determined to get money out to businesses as quickly as possible. This scheme opened to businesses in the Derry and Strabane District Council area last week – with the first payments issuing today.”

Under the scheme businesses will receive the following amounts for every week these restrictions apply:  

  • Small businesses (up to £15,000 Net Annual Value) – £800
  • Medium businesses (£15,001 - £51,000 Net Annual Value) – £1,200  
  • Large businesses (over £51,000 Net Annual Value) – £1,600

Full details on eligibility and how to apply be found here

Minister Murphy continued: “As an Executive we must do all we can to support businesses including those who to date haven’t benefitted from existing schemes. This scheme has been designed to provide much needed support to the occupying business within a commercial property which has been required to close or severely restrict its trading as a result of the Regulations- you don’t have to be the ratepayer to receive support. I’m pleased this scheme will also provide financial support to owners of Bed and Breakfasts some of which pay domestic rates and haven’t received support until now.”

The Localised Restrictions Support Scheme that will apply to businesses, subject to eligibility, includes:

  • Cafes, pubs and restaurants that are required to close or limit their services to a takeaway service instead;
  • Hotels, guest houses and registered Bed and Breakfasts;
  • Close contact services detailed in the Health Protection Regulations which use commercial premises;
  • Indoor visitor attractions;
  • Other businesses which under the Health Protection Regulations are required to cease to carry on that business or service, such as; campsites and caravan parks for touring caravans, cinemas, museums and galleries, bingo halls, funfairs, inflatable parks, indoor amusement arcades and skating rinks.

Recognising the importance of supporting businesses not subject to the Health Regulations but impacted indirectly by the restrictions, Conor Murphy added: “I realise many businesses, not just those required to close will see an impact on their business activity and footfall. For many businesses, their biggest concern is wage costs. I have written to the Treasury and asked that urgent consideration is given to bringing forward the start date of the Job Support Scheme.

“I have also encouraged Executive colleagues to urgently bring forward proposals for sectors they have responsibility for and which will help address funding pressures experienced by supply chain businesses and the self-employed.”

Notes to editors: 

1. Further details on the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme can be found here.

2. The Scheme is only open to businesses where the use of premises is restricted, or must cease, under the requirements of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020.

3. Premises restricted solely in respect of closure times under article 8 (2) & (3) of Schedule 2 of The Health Protection Regulations will not be eligible to apply.

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