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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
Details 
Additional Business Support Grant: Large Businesses - £50,000 This scheme is for large businesses that were unable to access grant funding during the first lockdown. 

Eligible: Businesses with a Net Annual Value (NAV) over £51,000 that are eligible for the 12 months rates holiday (retail, hospitality, leisure, tourism, manufacturing, childcare, newspaper producers), including car showrooms, garden centres, gyms & fitness suites, equestrian centres and caravan parks.

Not Eligible: Airports, food retail and those availing of schemes offered by other departments, are excluded from this grant. This includes businesses that qualify for the Department for Economy Large Tourism and Hospitality Business Support Scheme, sports clubs and culture, arts and heritage premises that qualify for one of the Department for Communities support schemes, food retail and petrol filling stations.  Businesses with vacant properties and businesses in administration will not receive the grant.

You will have to submit an application form to access this support package.  Further details available here. 

The Department of Finance will now bring forward legislation to allow payments to be processed and will release further information on eligibility once the Regulations are made.
Additional Business Support Grant: Manufacturing  Businesses - £25,000 This scheme is for manufacturing businesses with a Net Annual Value (NAV) between £15,001 and £51,000 that were unable to access grant funding during the first lockdown. 

This will be an automatic payment made to your business. Further information will be available once the legislation is in place.
Top up grant: Retail, Tourism, Hospitality & Leisure Sector - £10,000  Businesses that received the £25,000 Retail, Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Grant and have not been paid under the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme or Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme: Part B will receive this £10,000 grant. This will be an automatic payment made to your business.  

Further information will be available once the legislation is in place.
 
Top up grant: Small Business Support - £5,000 Businesses that received the £10,000 Small Business Support Grant and have not been paid under the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme or Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme: Part B will receive this £5,000 grant.  This will be an automatic payment made to your business.

Eligible businesses will include 'essential retail' currently allowed to remain open, such as: hardware, butchers, home bakeries, delis, convenience stores, post offices, pet shops, pharmacies, paint and decorating shops, building suppliers.  Also included: small manufacturing businesses, small professional services businesses, including accountants, solicitors, financial services and allied health services (dentists, podiatrists, physiotherapists).

This will be an automatic payment made to your business.  

Further information will be available once the legislation is in place.
The Localised Restrictions Support Scheme The Localised Restrictions Support Scheme provides financial support to businesses which have been required to close or have had business activities at their premises directly curtailed by health protection restrictions that have been put in place by the NI Executive.

Click here for more information.

Support available through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The government is extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to support individuals and businesses who are impacted by disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19). This is an extension of the CJRS and the scheme rules will remain the same except where the government says otherwise.

The CJRS (also known as the furlough scheme) will remain open until 31 March 2021. For claim periods running to January 2021, employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The £2,500 cap is proportional to the hours not worked.

The government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.

Claims can be made by employers across the UK that meet the eligibility criteria. .Please see below for more details;  https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-extension-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Update on 17 December
The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages – giving businesses and employees across the UK certainty into the New Year, the Chancellor announced today. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-extends-furlough-and-loan-schemes

Update March 2021
The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of September 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages until 30 June 2021.  From 1st July, the level of government funding will reduce – more details are available here

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

A Pay as You Grow repayment system will provide flexibility for firms repaying a Bounce Back Loan.

This includes extending the length of the loan from six years to ten, which will cut monthly repayments by nearly half. Interest-only periods of up to six months and payment holidays will also be available to businesses. 

Coronavirus loan schemes
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders will have the ability to extend the length of loans from a maximum of six years to ten years if it will help businesses to repay the loan.

Applications for the government’s coronavirus loan schemes will be extended until the end of November. This includes the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and the Future Fund. This change aligns all the end dates of these schemes, ensuring that there is further support in place for those firms who need it.

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.   

A Pay as You Grow repayment system will provide flexibility for firms repaying a Bounce Back Loan.

This includes extending the length of the loan from six years to ten, which will cut monthly repayments by nearly half. Interest-only periods of up to six months and payment holidays will also be available to businesses. 

Coronavirus loan schemes
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders will have the ability to extend the length of loans from a maximum of six years to ten years if it will help businesses to repay the loan.

Applications for the government’s coronavirus loan schemes will be extended until the end of November. This includes the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and the Future Fund. This change aligns all the end dates of these schemes, ensuring that there is further support in place for those firms who need it.

Coronavirus: Tax Cuts & Deferrals 

Tourism and Hospitality VAT Cut
The temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors will be extended to the end of March next year. This aims to give businesses in the sector - which has been severely impacted by the pandemic - the confidence to maintain staff as they adapt to a new trading environment.

New Payment Scheme
Business who deferred their VAT bills will be given the option to pay back in smaller instalments through the New Payment Scheme. This means, rather than paying a lump sum in full at the end of March next year, they will be able to make 11 smaller interest-free payments during the 2021-22 financial year.

Time to Pay
Self-assessment taxpayers will be able to benefit from a separate additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility, meaning payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.

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. 
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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