Diane Dodds confirms extension of business support grants until end of March

Economy Minister Diane Dodds has confirmed two business support scheme will be extended until the end of March.
Ryan McAleer

TWO grant support schemes for businesses will be extended to the end of March, the Economy Minister has said.

Diane Dodds said payments for the Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme (CRBSS) and Large Tourism Hospitality Business Support Scheme (LTHBSS) will continue to March 31.

The CRBSS was set up for businesses required to close under the health regulations, but unable to claim help under Stormont's main grant-based support scheme.

The Department for the Economy (DfE) said that as of March 2, £42.6 million had been paid to around 4,000 applicants under part A of the CRBSS.

A further £3.5m has been paid to almost 1,000 applicants under part B of the scheme, which was set up for supply chain businesses.

The minister said businesses which have already applied for the CRBSS do not need to reapply for the extended period.

DfE said it had identified around 300 businesses eligible for the large hospitality grant, which was set up to support larger venues with fixed costs.

The department said those businesses have been provided with an application form to be completed and returned with supporting evidence.

It will make a one-off payment based on weekly amounts of between £2,400 and £41,900 depending on the rateable value of a premises.

“I know how much businesses across Northern Ireland need to be supported during the Covid pandemic so I am pleased that we are able to extend the time period covered by these two grant schemes,” said Ms Dodds.

“Our business support grants are protecting jobs and businesses now as we plan for the rebuilding and recovery of the economy and the reopening of businesses when it is safe to do so.”

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