Business Support

  • Accommodation, bars, restaurants & cafes reopen!

    Accommodation, bars, restaurants & cafes reopen!

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    The Northern Ireland Executive has confirmed that hotels, bars, restaurants and cafes can reopen from July 3rd. Self catering accommodation such as caravans can also open from June 26. Find out more here.  Restaurants, coffee shops and cafes will provisionally reopen, with indoor bars and pubs allowed to serve food and alcohol on a table service basis. Pubs and bars with outdoor spaces would be permitted to operate an outdoors table service selling alcohol. Hotel restaurants would also be allowed to reopen with hotel bars restricted to serving meals along with alcohol on a table service basis.  Hotels with outdoor spaces would also be permitted to sell alcohol in these spaces.  Visitor attractions such as museums, historic houses, culture and heritage venues, can also open from 3rd July. The dates are conditional on controlling the rate of transmission of Covid-19 and social distancing measures will remain in place.  The Executive also agreed that consideration should be given to reviewing the two metre social distancing requirement. 

  •  Financial Support for Local Business

    Financial Support for Local Business

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    Please click here for the latest information on government support for business, including: COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses. Registration is open for Job Retention Scheme: 

  •  Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

    Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

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    The Chancellor announced a new loan scheme - the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan - to help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus, the key details of the loan are outlined below. - The scheme will went live on Monday 4th May 2020 and cash will be released within days for eligible businesses.  - Businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. - The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. - Loan terms will be up to 6 years.  - The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan. - The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders.

  • Job retention scheme

    Job retention scheme

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    The programme has been extended until the end of October and revised version of step by step guide has been published.

  • Self employment support

    Self employment support

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    Find out more about the self employment income support scheme that is open.

  • Northern Ireland Micro-Business Hardship Fund

    Northern Ireland Micro-Business Hardship Fund

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    Find out about the Northern Ireland micro-business hardship fund. The eligibility criteria has been updated and more businesses can apply.

  • Business Support Grants for Rental Properties

    Business Support Grants for Rental Properties

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    Click here to view the business support grants availabe for rental properties and/or properties with a total NAV ot £1,590 or below.

  •  Derry City and Strabane District Council Business Support

    Derry City and Strabane District Council Business Support

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    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.

  • DCSDC Covid-19 SME Toolkit

    DCSDC Covid-19 SME Toolkit

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    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.

  • Coronavirus Portal for businesses

    Coronavirus Portal for businesses

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    NI Direct who have created a Coronavirus Portal which includes links to information for businesses and the different schemes and support available.

  • Opportunity to Engage with Tourism Recovery Working Group

    Opportunity to Engage with Tourism Recovery Working Group

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    Would you like the opportunity to engage with the tourism recovery working group?

  • Advice on the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Northern Ireland Tourism Industry

    Advice on the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Northern Ireland Tourism Industry

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    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. 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 Outlook

    Tourism Outlook

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    Covid-19 Tourism Outlook brings you economic, market and consumer intelligence along with the impact of key enablers on tourism as plans to move towards recovery begin. TNI aim to keep you informed through analysis, best practice and thought-provoking predictions as government and people prepare for reopening and the tourism sector seeks to welcome back its customers. You can access TNI's Tourism Outlook here.

  • New rules on staying at home and social distancing guidelines

    New rules on staying at home and social distancing guidelines

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    New rules on staying at home and away from others and indicated the closure of non-essential businesses and public spaces were announced by the Prime Minister's on 23rd March, these measures were effective immediately. For full text of guidance, click link here. A list of key workers can be found here.

  • NI's five stage plan

    NI's five stage plan

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    Read the Northern Ireland Executive's five stage recovery plan here.

  • Support from The Northern Ireland Executive

    Support from The Northern Ireland Executive

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    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

  •  Tourism, Hospitality and Retail Programme

    Tourism, Hospitality and Retail Programme

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    Derry City and Strabane District Council are delivering a free Tourism Support Programme. Participants will have the opportunity to develop the skills and the confidence needed to rally and bounce back from the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic. The programme is aimed specifically at own-managers of tourism focused SMEs and micro enterprises who are seeking ways of consolidating and rebuilding their businesses in the coming months.

  • Northern Ireland Budget

    Northern Ireland Budget

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    Finance Minister unveiled budget, setting out 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.”. Small Business Grant Helpline: 0300 2007809

  • HMRC Help & Support for business

    HMRC Help & Support for business

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    HMRC Help & Support for business HMRC helpline number is 0800 0241222. Lines open 8-8pm Monday to Friday and 8-4pm on Saturday

  • New Walking and Cycling Measures

    New Walking and Cycling Measures

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    Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon announces new walking and cycling measures for City to seize its Chance for Change. Click here for more info.

  • Facilities close to public and events cancelled

    Facilities close to public and events cancelled

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    Updates from Derry City and Strabane District Council area are available (See link). 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.

  • Tourism & Hospitality Guidance

    Tourism & Hospitality Guidance

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    Practical guidance for re-opening your business has now been published.

  • TNI Recovery Campaign and Co-op Marketing Fund

    TNI Recovery Campaign and Co-op Marketing Fund

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    HELPING YOUR TOURISM BUSINESS RECOVER Tourism Northern Ireland is providing industry support to help tourism businesses recover from the impact of Coronavirus. It will deliver a range of digital and other advertising. The Northern Ireland Hotels Federation will assist the industry in supporting this activity and securing direct business. There are two different ways you can get involved in this campaign and two different phases within each part. A. Online Promotion and Offers Open to: 3-star and above hotels, guesthouses, guest accommodation, self-catering, B&Bs, visitor attractions and visitor experiences. B. Co-operative Marketing Fund Open to: Only those taking part in section A who are willing to fund 25% of costs. The campaign will take place from July to October 2020. Closing date for entries is 30th June 2020.

  • Reduced VAT rate announced for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions

    Reduced VAT rate announced for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions

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    The hospitality & tourism sector to be given six month VAT cut, from 20% to 5%!

  • Flexible Furlough

    Flexible Furlough

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    Effective from 1st July, businesses have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part time as part of the government’s plan to re-open the UK and kick-start our economy.

  • We're Good to Go

    We're Good to Go

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    Is Your Business Good To Go? The UK wide industry standard ‘We’re Good to Go’ means you can provide reassurance to your customers and demonstrate commitment to implementing relevant government and public health guidance in relation to Covid-19. Apply for registration now!

  • Ministers announce £11m to support city and town centres in their recovery

    Ministers announce £11m to support city and town centres in their recovery

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    Communities Minister Minister Carál Ní Chuilín and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots have announced a substantial investment of £11m to support town and city centres in their economic recovery from the impacts of Covid-19.

  • Website Development Programme 2020-21

    Website Development Programme 2020-21

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    Tourism Northern Ireland is pleased to announce the launch of the Website Development Programme 2020-21, helping tourism providers to sell experiences through website development.

  • PHA announces COVID-19 community funding

    PHA announces COVID-19 community funding

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    The Public Health Agency (PHA) has launched a new programme of investment that will provide support to communities in response to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic. The PHA is encouraging groups to apply to the short-term funding programme, which can be used to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities living through COVID-19.

  • Small Capital Grants Programme launched

    Small Capital Grants Programme launched

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    The Department for Communities (DfC) has launched this years’ Small Capital Grants Programme, which has a total fund of £800,000. The Programme is aimed at assisting voluntary and community organisations purchase items of equipment to enhance and sustain the activities and services they provide to the community.

  • Health and Safety Working Training

    Health and Safety Working Training

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    North West Regional College's Health and Safety Working Practices course for hospitality businesses provides an understanding of relevant legislation and guidance from the government. The course is 100% funded by DfE.

  • Business Grants Now Available

    Business Grants Now Available

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    A business grant scheme to help businesses to deal with the impact of COVID-19 and to help them attract customers again has been announced by Derry City and Strabane District Council as part of its COVID-19 Revitalisation and Recovery programme.

  • New Jobs Support Scheme

    New Jobs Support Scheme

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    A new six-month Jobs Support Scheme will start in November: The Government will directly support the wages of people in viable work. Businesses facing reduced demand can avoid making employees redundant by keeping them on shorter hours. The employee will work at least a third of their normal hours paid by the employer For the hours not worked, the government and the employer will each pay one third of their equivalent salary The level of grant will be calculated based on employee’s usual salary, capped at £697.92 per month All SMEs are eligible for the scheme, but larger firms can apply too if their turnover is affected by coronavirus. Employers that are retaining furlough staff on shorter hours can claim both the Job Support Scheme and the Jobs Retention bonus.

  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant (SEISS) extended

    Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant (SEISS) extended

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    SEISS will be extended on similar terms as the new Job Support Scheme An initial taxable grant will be provided to those who are currently eligible for SEISS and are continuing to actively trade but face reduced demand due to coronavirus. The initial lump sum will cover three months’ worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January 2021, worth 20% of average monthly profits, up to a total of £1,875. An additional second grant to cover the period from February 2021 to the end of April – this may be adjusted to respond to changing circumstances.

  • Tax cuts and deferrals

    Tax cuts and deferrals

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    The VAT reduction from 20% to 5% for the hospitality and tourism sectors will be extended until the end of March 2021. Businesses who deferred their VAT will no longer have to pay a lump sum at the end of March next year. They will have the option of splitting it into smaller, interest free payments over the course of 11 months next financial year. Self-assessed income tax payers who need extra help can now benefit from a 12-month extension on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility, meaning payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.

  • Government-backed loans

    Government-backed loans

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    A new Pay as you Grow repayment system will provide flexibility for firms repaying a Bounce Back Loan. This includes: Extending repayments from 6 to 10 years Interest-only payments, Suspending repayments for up to 6 months if needed. Credit ratings won’t be affected. The Government has said it intends to give Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders the ability to extend the length of loans from a maximum of six years to ten years if it will help businesses to repay the loan. The application deadline for all coronavirus loan schemes – including the future fund - has been extended to 30 November

  • Changes to restrictions in NI

    Changes to restrictions in NI

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    The Department of Health announced on Wednesday September 23 new laws which mean no more than six people from two households in NI will be allowed to sit at the same table in a pub or restaurant. Live music in venues is also now banned under the legislation. Tourism NI have published a summary of the key changes to legal requirements introduced and how they apply to hospitality businesses.

  • Grant Scheme for hospitality businesses in the North West

    Grant Scheme for hospitality businesses in the North West

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    Finance Minister Conor Murphy has announced a grant scheme for hospitality businesses in the North West. Small businesses will receive £800 for every two weeks they are closed. Larger businesses will receive £1,200 for two weeks. 

  • Business and Finance Support Programme

    Business and Finance Support Programme

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    Economy Minister Diane Dodds has announced two new schemes to support Northern Ireland businesses plan for recovery. The schemes have been developed to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) assess the impacts of Covid-19 and develop a strategic recovery plan for the business. Both schemes will provide up to £8,000 to eligible businesses to undertake a business and financial review to plan for recovery.

  • The Apprenticeship Challenge Fund

    The Apprenticeship Challenge Fund

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    The Apprenticeship Challenge Fund is open for applications. Successful applicants could receive one-off awards of up to £50k and up to £100k for proposals with multiple partners/features.

  • Job Retention Update

    Job Retention Update

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    New guidance is available on the Job Retention Bonus, a one-off payment to businesses that retain previously furloughed staff until the end of January 2021.

  • Financial support scheme for North West opens

    Financial support scheme for North West opens

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    A new financial support scheme for businesses affected by restrictions which came into effect on 5th October in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area has opened for applications.

  • Executive tightens restrictions to curb Covid-19

    Executive tightens restrictions to curb Covid-19

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    The Executive has agreed a range of significant time-bound interventions to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

  • Furlough scheme extended

    Furlough scheme extended

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    Furlough scheme to be extended until the end of March with government paying up to 80% of wages, Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirms.

  • Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

    Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

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    The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Grant Extension fund will last for 6 months, from November 2020 to April 2021.

  • Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme

    Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme

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    Click here for details on financial support for businesses required to close/cease trading and businesses that are part of their direct supply chain.

  • £2m Community Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund Launched

    £2m Community Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund Launched

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    A £2m Community Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund has been opened by Communities Minister Caral Ni Chuilin. Distributed by the Community Foundation NI, grants will be available from £2,000 to £20,000 (includes a maximum of £5K capital funding).