23rd November 2020

The executive had pledged to provide additional financial support to businesses forced to close.

The immediate package will be worth about £338m, while £150m is being set aside for longer-term rates relief.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy set out full details of the plan in the assembly on Monday afternoon – these included:

  • A £95m voucher scheme to encourage shoppers to support local traders by giving them a pre-paid card to spend on the High Street
  • £44.3m to allow one-off heating payments of £200 to disabled people on higher rate allowances and older people in receipt of pension credit
  • £20m for company directors, a group that has been excluded from previous support
  • £20m to extend a 12-months rates holiday to manufacturing businesses, bringing the sector into line with what has been offered to hospitality, tourism, leisure and retail
  • £10.6m to support about 1,000 drink-only pubs that have been shut since 16 October
  • £10m for councils
  • £10m for sports clubs hit by the restrictions
  • £5m to top up the tourism and hospitality grants scheme
  • £4.1m for about 953 bed and breakfast accommodation businesses excluded from previous support
  • £3m to help local businesses grow online sales