Further details on the fund to support micro-businesses and social enterprises unable to access other regional and national COVID-19 support measures have been announced. £40 million is available through the fund, which is administered by Invest NI on behalf of the Department for the Economy. It will offer emergency funding to businesses facing immediate cash flow difficulties due to the impact of COVID-19.The scheme is set to open within a week.  Only one grant will be paid to each eligible business, irrespective of how many properties the business occupies.

You can apply for the grant if:
– The business is 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 following are not eligible to apply for the grant:
– 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 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.

What to do Now

You can check your eligibility and take steps to prepare for completing the online application form. Click here for more.

Contact Michael Branniff, Director of Business Services for more details: Email michaelbranniff@bakertillymm.co.uk  Tel: 028 9032 3466