Smaller businesses to receive automatic grants from end of May

Three new business support schemes were announced in March as part of a £178m package.
Ryan McAleer

AUTOMATIC business top-up grants worth £10,000 and £5,000 will start landing in company accounts at the end of May, The Irish News understands.

The grants were among three fresh support schemes announced in March as part of a £178 million package confirmed by Finance Minister Conor Murphy.

Around 1,600 firms which received the £25,000 grant for retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure in the first lockdown are expected to get the £10,000 payment.

The £5,000 grant is expected to be automatically paid to around 16,000 firms which received the £10,000 small business grant in the first lockdown.

Meanwhile a £25,000 automatic grant for manufacturing firms began issuing last week. Although it was initially thought that around 1,100 firms would share in a pot of £27.5m, the Department of Finance said 850 manufacturers will now benefit from a smaller pot of £21m.

The biggest scheme, a £50,000 payment for businesses in larger premises, will close for applications just before midnight on Wednesday (May 5).

The Large NAV Business Grant is the only scheme of the three that requires an application.

It's aimed at retail, childcare, manufacturing, hospitality, tourism and leisure businesses which didn't qualify for previous grants.

In order to qualify, businesses must occupy a large commercial premises with a net annual value (NAV) of over £51,000, and which also qualified for the 12 months rates holiday.

It was initially thought that around 1,125 businesses would be eligible to apply for a share of a pot worth just over £56m.

Speaking on Friday, Conor Murphy said over 450 applications had been received for the scheme.

Urging businesses to apply, the Finance Minister said: “The online application process is simple and easy to complete. I would encourage any business which thinks it may be eligible to go online and check the scheme criteria and submit their application before the 5 May deadline.”

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