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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.
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:
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.
The programme has been extended until the end of October and revised version of step by step guide has been published.
Find out more about the self employment income support scheme that is open.
Find out about the Northern Ireland micro-business hardship fund. The eligibility criteria has been updated and more businesses can apply.
Click here to view the business support grants availabe for rental properties and/or properties with a total NAV ot £1,590 or below.
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.
NI Direct who have created a Coronavirus Portal which includes links to information for businesses and the different schemes and support available.
Would you like the opportunity to engage with the tourism recovery working group?
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.
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 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.
Read the Northern Ireland Executive's five stage recovery plan 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
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.
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 helpline number is 0800 0241222. Lines open 8-8pm Monday to Friday and 8-4pm on Saturday
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon announces new walking and cycling measures for City to seize its Chance for Change. Click here for more info.
Parking enforcement teams will be back on the streets from Monday 22 June, says Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon. In the first instance, for 7 days, enforcement officials will be issuing warnings and from 29 June Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) on street parking charges and charging at Park and Ride Sites will commence. Click here for more info.
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.
Practical guidance for re-opening your business has now been published.
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.
The hospitality & tourism sector to be given six month VAT cut, from 20% to 5%!
You can use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme to offer a discount to diners and encourage them to eat at your restaurant.
You can use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme:
- All day, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 to 31 August 2020
- To offer a 50 per cent discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, to diners for food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in
- To claim the money back from the government
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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