Applications to the NI Micro-business Hardship Fund will close on Friday. This fund aims to support Northern Ireland based micro-businesses and social enterprises unable to access other regional and national COVID-19 support measures.

Up to £10,000 will be available for businesses which pay business rates on premises, with up to £5,000 for those that do not pay business rates.

Only one grant will be paid to each eligible business, irrespective of how many properties the business occupies.


  • The business must be based in Northern Ireland.
  • At 29 February 2020, the business must have employed between one and nine employees paid via PAYE.  Businesses, where the sole employee is the business owner or company director, are not eligible for this scheme.  The number of employees will be based on headcount.
  • Since 1 March 2020, the business must have experienced a reduction in turnover in excess of 40% as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic or associated Government restrictions.

The Fund is open to all micro-business and social enterprises excluding the following:

  • Primary agricultural producers i.e. those primarily concerned with crop or animal production or forestry or logging or fisheries or aquaculture.  However, agricultural businesses associated with the processing, marketing and retail of agricultural products can apply to the fund.
  • Businesses eligible for the following NI Executive schemes: £10,000 Small Business Support Grant Scheme, £10,000/£25,000 Small Business Grant for rental properties and Total NAV of £1,590 or below, £25,000 Retail, Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Grant and the COVID-19 Childcare Support Scheme
  • Charities or social enterprises with charitable status.
  • Social enterprises that receive less than 60% of revenue from trade in goods and/or services.

Other non-repayable Government grants related to COVID-19 will be taken into account and will be deducted, where applicable, from the final grant awarded.

Those businesses that haven’t received the £10,000 or £25,000 grant yet or if their submission is under appeal should apply for The Hardship Fund.

For more details and to apply click here.

To discuss your individual circumstances contact Michael Branniff, Director of Business Services Email  Tel: 028 9032 3466.