Covid-19: £10m scheme for newly-self employed will pay initial grant of £3,500

First Minister Arlene Foster. Picture by Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire
Ryan McAleer

NEWLY self-employed workers in the north will be able to apply for a £3,500 grant under a new £10 million scheme.

The package, first announced on October 22 by Economy Minister Diane Dodds, has been developed over some weeks by Economy officials to offer financial aid to recently self-employed people excluded from other grant support.

It’s understood the Executive has now signed off on the Economy Minister’s proposal.

Details of the scheme have not yet been published, but speaking during the Stormont press conference on Wednesday evening, First Minister Arlene Foster said successful applicants could benefit from an initial grant of £3,500, which could be topped up at a later stage.

The announcement has been welcomed by the chair of the Economy Committee, Caoimhe Archibald. 

“Today’s announcement will be welcome news to the newly self-employed workers and their families as many of these people have had little or no support for up to eight months,” said the Sinn Féin MLA.

“The Economy Minister must ensure the application process facilitates payments being made as quickly as possible.

 “This support will be a vital lifeline to help businesses to survive and to protect jobs and livelihoods.”

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