• Accessibility Options

The Department for the Economy has announced a range of support packages for businesses throughout Northern Ireland via the NI Executive which is explained in further detail via the links below.

​Invest NI can also provide advice and support through its Business Support Line on T. 0800 181 4422

We understand that many businesses have questions regarding tax and we would like direct you to GOV.UK  or the HMRC helpline on T. 0800 0159 559 for guidance.

Support Package

Summary of Additional Support Announced for Businesses & the Self Employed

On 20 March, the Chancellor announced new steps to provide support for businesses affected by the coronavirus.

These measures include:

> Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

> Deferral on VAT payments

> Increase in the Universal Credit allowance

> Extension to the interest-free period for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Click here for more information.  

Support available through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

This guidance page was updated on 12 June to include details on how the scheme will change from 1 July. The first time you will be able to make claims for days in July will be 1 July, you cannot claim for periods in July before this point.

31 July is the last day that you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 30 June.

here for more information.  

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for Small Businesses (CBILS)

CBILS is a new scheme, announced by the Chancellor at Budget 2020, that can provide facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow.

There have also been some changes to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme - for small businesses

  • The scheme has been extended so that all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time.
  • The government is also stopping lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000 and making operational changes to speed up lending approvals. The government will continue to cover the first twelve months of interest and fees.

Click here for more information.   
Click here for FAQs

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Provides a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25m to firms with an annual turnover of between £45m and £500m.

Click here for more information.   

Coronavirus: Deferred VAT payments

The government will be automatically deferring business payments for Valued Added Tax (VAT).

The deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

NOTE: you still must file VAT returns as normal

Click here for more information.  

Coronavirus: Deferred Income Tax Payments

If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.

Click here for more information.  

Coronavirus: Support for Paying Sick Pay to Employees

The government is bringing forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

Click here for more information.  
The Facebook Small Business Grants Programme  Facebook is offering approximately £84 million in cash grants and advertising credits on its ad platform for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses.

Click here for more information. 
New Future Fund to support innovative UK businesses On 20 April 2020 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced he is to establish a new Future Fund to support the UK’s innovative businesses currently affected by Covid-19. These businesses have been unable to access other government business support programmes, because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit and typically rely on equity investment. The scheme will deliver an initial commitment of £250m of new government funding which will be unlocked by private investment on a match funded basis. The government scheme, which will be developed in partnership with the British Business Bank with the intention of launching for applications in May, will initially be open until the end of September. Over the coming weeks the Bank will work with government on the details on how the Future Fund will operate and how to apply.

Click here for more information. 
Artists Emergency Programme The Arts Council of Northern Ireland today (Monday 27th April) opened a funding programme to support artists and performers during the COVID-19 crisis. The Artists Emergency Programme (AEP), worth £500,000, offers freelance artists, creative practitioners and performers the opportunity to apply for grants of up to £5,000 each.

Click here for more information. 
Bounce Back Loan Scheme The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.

The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.

The Scheme will launch on Monday 4 May.

Click here for more information. 
Rates Relief The new scheme 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)
  • childcare
  • Belfast City, Belfast International and City of Derry Airports.
The rates support packages will also see all businesses receive a one-month extension of the rates holiday up to 31 July 2020.
 Click here for more information


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