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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.
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%!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The Executive has agreed a range of significant time-bound interventions to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.
Furlough scheme to be extended until the end of March with government paying up to 80% of wages, Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirms.
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Grant Extension fund will last for 6 months, from November 2020 to April 2021.
Click here for details on financial support for businesses required to close/cease trading and businesses that are part of their direct supply chain.
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).
The Executive has announced an additional package of restrictions that will remain in place until 5 March 2021. They will be reviewed on 18 February 2021.
Economy Minister Diane Dodds has announced further details in regards the Wet Pubs Business Support Scheme. The scheme will commence on January 11th and qualifying wet pubs will be identified by the department.
A £4.1 million scheme to support B&Bs, guest houses and guest accommodation has opened up and will support around 900 providers to continue to deliver much-needed tourist accommodation in 2021 and beyond.
Check out Londonderry Chamber of Commerce for more information on their services, programmes and events that support their members in expanding their businesses and enhancing their brand profile.
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