£1.7m fund announced for rural businesses in Northern Ireland hit by Covid-19

  • Two new schemes totalling £1.7m have been announed to provide rural micro-businesses in Northern Ireland with new equipment and processes to beat Covid-19.

    Northern Ireland's Coronavirus recovery plans involve significant investment in keeping the region's businesses competitive, but much of the support so far has been focused around cities and towns. We saw the recent announcement of the £11m Capital Covid-10 Recovery Revitalisation Scheme to help businesses in cities and towns adapt and re-open in a post-covid-19 environment.

    Rural Affairs Minster Edwin Poots MLA has now launched a similar scheme to help specifically for rural businesses, with a £1.7 million stimulus fund for rural micro businesses affected by the virus. The funds will be delivered via two new schemes, with £1million for the Rural Micro Business Growth Pilot Scheme and £700,000 for the Rural Business Development Grant Scheme.

    The Rural Micro Business Growth Scheme will be open to all rural micro businesses and will provide between £5,000 and £40,000 to invest in new technologies and innovations to help make businesses more efficient. The Rural Business Development Grant Scheme will be targeted specifically at micro-businesses and will provide up to £5,000 for the purchase of new equipment or for building adaptations to "facilitate new ways of working."

    For more information on the schemes or to apply, head over to www.daera-ni.gov.uk/topics/grants-and-funding-rural-development/rural-development-grants 

    Minister Poots commented on the two new schemes: "The NI Executive has put its focus towards recovery and part of that is to help rural businesses have confidence to invest and expand, and to stimulate economic growth and development. The £1.7million stimulus fund I have launched today, aims to do just that. I encourage those eligible to apply for this funding.”"

    Source: Written based on press release, DAERA-NI

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