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Source: HM Government | | 31/03/2020

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) is a UK government department responsible for Northern Ireland affairs. The NIO seeks to ensure the smooth working of the devolution settlement in Northern Ireland.

A new press release, jointly published by the NIO, HM Treasury, and Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street explains the latest guidance for people in Northern Ireland.

Businesses in Northern Ireland can access the following national schemes:

  • Businesses will receive government grants worth up to 80% of wages to keep workers in jobs. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will pay up to £2,500 per worker each month.
  • Support for businesses through the Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which will provide loans of up to £5m, with no interest due for 12 months. This scheme will be delivered through the British Business Bank.
  • Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees
  • Support for businesses paying tax
  • VAT payments for the next quarter will be deferred, so no business will pay any VAT for the next three months.
  • Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, which will potentially allow self-employed persons eligible, to receive a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years, bringing parity with Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

There are also specific measures from the Northern Ireland Executive. Businesses in Northern Ireland can access the following schemes:

  • COVID Small Business Grant - Small business grant of £10,000 to be issued immediately with a cost of £267m providing support to 27,000 businesses in NI. This is for all businesses with a NAV up to £15,000
  • Hospitality, Tourism and Retail Sectors Grant Scheme - An immediate grant of £25,000 will be provided to companies in these sectors with a rateable value up to £51,000.
  • All NI businesses will pay zero rates for the next three months (April, May, June).


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