Wednesday 8th April 2020
This page will be updated regularly as new information becomes available.
Please see the latest guidance on coronavirus (COVID -19) from the World Health Organisation here and the Public Health Agency here.
New rules on staying at home and away from others
The Prime Minister's announcement on 23rd March, new rules on staying at home and away from others and indicated the closure of non-essential businesses and public spaces. For full text of guidance, click link here. A list of key workers can be found here. The guidance is that these measures are effective immediately.
Support for Business
Visit Derry is working in partnership with Derry City and Strabane District Council to signpost to support available.
Derry City and Strabane District Council Business Support
The business team are available to assist businesses who have queries relating to latest information and advice provided by the Department of Finance regarding rates relief and business support services. Businesses seeking advice should click here.
The Business Support Team at Derry City & Strabane District Council in collaboration with the Full Circle Solutions have designed a series of remote skills development workshops and business support programmes, to help support local companies during this challenging time. Click here for more info.
Click here to access NI Direct who have created a Coronavirus Portal which includes links to information for businesses and the different schemes and support available.
Advice on the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Northern Ireland Tourism Industry
Tourism NI is closely monitoring this rapidly evolving situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak. This is a global tourism issue and we are liaising with key stakeholders and industry bodies to provide advice and support as soon as possible.
Tourism NI Covid-19 Business Support Helpline - A dedicated telephone line service and online enquiry facility has been set up for the tourism industry. Telephone: 02895925313
Advice in relation to financial support available, staff, customers, booking terms and conditions and inbound travel all available here.
Tourism NI is asking for your support to monitor the overall impact across Northern Ireland. Please visit tourismni.com/coronavirus and complete the survey.
Financial support for local business
Please click here for the latest information on government support for business, including: COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses.
On Saturday 4th April 2020 more guidance was published on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The full guidance is available here.
Measures announced from the NI Executive to assist local business specifically are outlined below:
- Confirmation of 3-month holiday on business rates for all businesses
- Increase in grant available through the Small Business Rate Relief to £10K – all businesses with a NAV up to £15K are eligible
- An immediate grant of £25K will be available to Tourism, Retail and Hospitality businesses with NAV from £15K to £51K
- Click here to access the full statement
Northern Ireland Budget
Finance Minister unveiled the budget, setting out the increased support being provided through the business rating system. He said - "I have reduced business rates by 12.5%. Combined with Reval 2020 this means an 18% reduction in rates. Although I decided to reduce business rates in advance of the Covid-19 threat, this reduction will help with the economic recovery on the other side of this pandemic.”. Full statement
Small Business Grant Helpline: 0300 2007809
HMRC Help & Support for business
HMRC helpline number is 0800 0241222. Lines open 8-8pm Monday to Friday and 8-4pm on Saturday
Help and Support if your business is affected by coronavirus (COVID-19): Watch a video and register for the free webinar to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus.
Facilities close to public and events cancelled - Updates from Derry City and Strabane District Council area are available here
Visit Derry also has a duty of care to its staff and the public and therefore has taken a very responsible and proactive approach to Covid-19 by closing the Visitor Information Centre, 44 Foyle Street, to the public. Visit Derry will continue to work and consult with our statutory agencies and partners in terms of contingency planning and service provision.