He says this is on top of the £1.5m regulatory support already provided.
The Foyle MP said: “Nichola Mallon’s scheme will provide direct financial help to nearly 9,000 taxi drivers across the North and is the only such scheme anywhere across the UK or Ireland.
“I welcome its introduction and would urge all taxi drivers in Derry to apply for the support available.
“It is clear that the introduction of restrictions has affected people right across our society, especially those in the taxi and coach industry.
“Their trade has almost disappeared and many have struggled to access any meaningful financial support.”
“Nichola Mallon’s honesty and hard work to bring this scheme to fruition, just six days after she was given the power to do so by the Joint First Ministers, is to be commended.
“Her dedication to the plight of taxi drivers is in direct comparison to those who sat on the sidelines doing nothing but making political snipes and jibes, with no actual ideas or proposals themselves.
“The SDLP will continue to do all we can to support families and communities throughout this health and economic crisis.”