Grants and incentives
Businesses in Northern Ireland can access the following schemes:
COVID Small Business Grant - A grant of £10,000 for all small businesses who are eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme (that is, all businesses with a NAV up to £15,000).
Hospitality, Tourism and Retail Sectors Grant Scheme - A grant of £25,000 for companies in these sectors with a rateable value from £15,000 up to £51,000.
The £10,000 grant is currently open for applications and many businesses have now received the grant. The £25,0000 scheme will be administered by the Department for the Economy and Invest Northern Ireland working with the Department of Finance’s Land & Property Services. Further details about how to access this grant are to be announced.
There will be a three-month rates holiday for all business ratepayers, excluding public sector and utilities. The effect of this is that no rates will be charged for April, May and June 2020. This will be shown as a 25 per cent discount on the annual rate bill for business ratepayers. In addition, the regional rate has been adjusted downward to offset the change in the total rateable value due to Reval2020. A further 12.5 percent cut has now been made in the NI Executive’s budget whereby businesses should see an 18 per cent reduction on the 2019-20 figure.
These are NI specific initiatives. The grants schemes closely mirror those announced for England that specifically apply to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. The rates reduction is quite different – in NI all businesses get a 3-month rates break followed by a reduction in annual rates payable. But in England those operating in the retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery sectors will pay no rates for the next year. Otherwise there is no reduction in rates for other businesses.