FINANCE Minister Conor Murphy has announced an extension of the grant scheme already in place in the North West.
But the payments will be doubled and extended across the whole of the North of Ireland.
Small businesses will receive £1,600 rather than £800 for every fortnight they are closed.
Medium-sized businesses will receive £2,400 for the same period.
And larger businesses will receive £3,200 for every fortnight they are closed down.
Applications will open on Monday, October 19.
The total cost of scheme will be £35 million.
Conor Murphy says the objective of the scheme he is announcing is to “get some support to businesses over the four week period the executive has obliged them to close their doors”.
“Since we’ve received additional money on Friday from the treasury, we’ve been able to double the amount of money we’re offering to each of these businesses,” he says.
“Will this change the economic fortunes of the north? Will it address the damage the ongoing pandemic is doing to the economy? No, it’s not capable of doing that.
“But we have an obligation, where we have resources, even where they are limited, to try and get that support quickly on to the ground.”
The Localised Restrictions Support Scheme opened for businesses in Derry City and Strabane District Council area yesterday and will open for all Council areas from next Monday.
Under the scheme businesses will receive the following amounts for every two weeks they are closed:
Small businesses (not exceeding £15k Net Annual Value) – £1,600
Medium businesses (over £15k Net Annual Value and not exceeding £51k Net Annual Value) – £2,400
Large businesses (over £51k Net Annual Value) – £3,200
The scheme that will apply to businesses, subject to eligibility criteria, includes:
Cafes, pubs and restaurants that have been temporarily forced to close or limit their services to a takeaway service instead;
Hotels and guest houses;
Close contact services in or (using) commercial premises such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, day spas, nail bars and tattoo parlours forced to close; and;
Other businesses which, under the Health Protection Regulations are required to cease to carry on that business or
to provide that service, include cinemas, museums, galleries, trampoline parks, inflatable parks, escape rooms,
bowling alleys and ice rinks.
Minister Murphy says he has asked executive colleagues to bring forward schemes to provide support to businesses who have “fallen through the cracks”.
His new scheme designed to provide “immediate assistance” in terms of ongoing costs to businesses, he says.
“We have to take action quickly.
“There are further details to work out and those will be communicated quickly as soon as we can.”