NI firms to get financial support if they must close due to Covid-19

  • New financial support has been annouunced for businesses forced to close due to Northern Ireland's new four-week lockdown

    Harsh new lockdown restrictions are coming into effect across Northern Ireland as Covid-19 cases continue to surge, and that means countless businesses will have to close their doors unexpectedly. The restrictions come after a major outbreak in the Derry City and Strabane council area made it one of the worst-affected areas in Europe.

    The entire hospitality sector will close for four weeks apart from deliveries and takeaways, and indoor sport or organised contact sport will also be closed. Gyms are permitted to open but cannot run any classes, and some other businesses will be forced to temporarily shut down just as they were starting to re-open. 

    A new scheme has been set up to support businesses that have to close during the lockdown, with payments to be made to businesses every two weeks they are closed. The payment are organised into three tiers:

    • Small businesses (Net Annual Value of £15,000 or less) will get £1,600 every two weeks
    • Medium businesses (Net Annual Value of £15,000 to £51,000) will get £2,400 every two weeks
    • Large businesses (Net Annual Value of £51,000 or more) will get £3,200 every two weeks

    The scheme is designed as a short term support mechanism and is expected to cost £35m to implement, with applications open to businesses from Monday.

    Additional support is also available from the UK government for businesses that are legally required close due to local or national lockdowns. The Job Support Scheme will pay firms up to 67% of the wages of any staff who cannot work, up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.

    Source: BBC News

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