The Stormont Executive announced a new financial support scheme aimed at businesses impacted by lockdowns but not covered in previous funding schemes. The Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme (CRBSS) – which will open shortly – will support businesses which meet the following criteria:
- The business is restricted within the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 but is not eligible for the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (LRSS); or
- The business is within the supply chain of businesses restricted by the Regulations and as a result has been significantly impacted; and
- The business is operating in Northern Ireland and was trading immediately prior to 16 October 2020; and
- The business is not included in the scope of funding already allocated to Executive Departments to respond to Covid restrictions.
Businesses impacted by the localised restrictions in place in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area from the 5 October 2020 will also be eligible for backdated assistance.
Businesses that are required to close but are not eligible for LRSS are eligible for a grant of £600 per week.
Businesses that are not required to close but are within the supply chain of businesses restricted by the Regulations and significantly impacted will be eligible for a grant of up to £800 per week. They must demonstrate that they are in the direct supply chain of one or more businesses restricted by the Regulations and have been significantly impacted. This element will open at a later date.
Eligible businesses are subdivided between those paying business rates and those not paying business rates.
Businesses paying business rates and experiencing a significant decline in turnover will receive a grant based on the Net Annual Value (NAV) of the premises they operate from:
- £400 per week for businesses with a NAV that does not exceed £15,000;
- £600 per week for businesses where the NAV exceeds £15,000 but doesn’t exceed £51,000; and
- £800 per week for businesses where the NAV exceeds £51,000
The grants paid to businesses not forced to close but adversely impacted are equivalent to 50% of the grant payable under the LRSS.
Businesses not occupying commercial premises and experiencing a significant decline in turnover can apply for a grant of £300 per week. This is equivalent to 37.5% of the LRSS grant paid to businesses in restricted premises with a NAV that does not exceed £15,000. These grants will be made in a second tranche of payments at a later date.
Commenting on the announcement, Business Services Partner Stephen McConnell said “businesses understand that further restrictions are necessary to tackle the rising number of coronavirus cases, so it’s right to prioritise bringing infections under control but local lockdowns impact business and consumer confidence at a delicate time for the economy.
So it’s vital that the government brings forward clarity on the support available and recognises the gaps in the schemes available to ensure that all business impacted are able to protect businesses, jobs and livelihoods.”
If you need any advice on the new Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme, please contact us today on 028 9032 3466 or email firstname.lastname@example.org