Business

Online portal opened for business which missed out on automatic top-up grants

An online portal has been opened for businesses to apply to the top-up grant scheme.

A NEW online portal has been opened for businesses eligible for the recent top-grant scheme from Stormont, but failed to receive the payment automatically.

Around £72.3 million has already been issued to around 13,000 firms since the end of May under the initiative administered by Land & Property Services.

The automatic top-up grants of £5,000 and £10,000 are for businesses which received support in the first lockdown, but were legally allowed to stay open during the most recent lockdown, and therefore didn’t qualify for the business support grants such as the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (LRSS) and the Coronavirus Restrictions Business Support Scheme (CRBSS).

The vast majority of eligible firms fall into the £5,000 grant category.

Businesses which meet the criteria, but haven’t been paid, can now go online and apply.

The Department of Finance said it includes businesses operating from premises where the landlord pays the rates; businesses that have relocated since they were paid the original grant; and new businesses which started trading after May last year.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy has encouraged businesses to go online, check the eligibility criteria and to apply if they're eligible.

"Over £70m has so far issued in automatic top up payments to more than 13,000 businesses,” he said. “While these businesses remained opened their footfall and trade was impacted by restrictions and so I was keen to ensure they received support.

“I have been determined to ensure support reaches as many businesses as possible,” he continued.

“Businesses which started trading after the Small Business Support Grant and the Retail, Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Grant were issued last year will now be able to apply for the top up grant.”

The online portal will remain open until July 28. Further information on eligibility is available via nibusinessinfo.co.uk.

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