We’ve created this page to keep our BID levy payers fully informed with the latest advice and information.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 we are living and working in unprecedented times. We want you to know that we are here to support our members during these times.

Belfast One is currently working closely with other BIDs across Northern Ireland (who collectively represent thousands of businesses). Collaboratively, we are asking Government for clear information, advice and support for our members.  We welcome the measures that have already been announced by our Executive (please see summary below), but we feel these need to go further in order to protect businesses, jobs, and employees.  Additionally, at Belfast One we will be engaging and coordinating with Belfast City Council in relation to both support measures and recovery plans.

Supporting you as best we can during this difficult period

Belfast One will continue to deliver certain projects while we still can and within the confines of the ever-changing Government advice. While still possible and without placing their health in danger, City Centre Beat will still be available, the Clean Team will still be providing additional cleansing services, and whilst businesses are still open we will use our social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn)  to make the public aware of this.

Unfortunately, however, there will be certain projects/initiatives that we must postpone until further notice due to current advice about social distancing. However, please be assured we will reschedule these at the first opportunity.

We will endeavour to keep members up-to-date with information through this page and on social media platforms.

External websites for guidance and help

  • For the most up to date information on business advice and support to help you manage the impact of COVID 19 please the NI Business Info website

 

Support Measures for Businesses in Northern Ireland - Updated 04.05.2020

  • 3 months rate free (April, May, June) for all businesses reducing rates by 25% and will be in addition to any reliefs that a business already receives;
  • A reduction in the regional business rate
  • A £10,000 grant for recipients of the Small Business Rates Relief
  • A £25,000 grant for medium sized retail, tourism and hospitality businesses

See below information on Government support schemes to help businesses deal with the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic is having.

1. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – This scheme, being administered by HMRC, allows businesses to claim for 80% of an employee’s wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if they have been put on furlough because of COVID-19.

Claims can be made on the HMRC website which can be accessed here. 

 

2. £25,000 Retail, Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Grant Scheme

A grant of £25,000 is being made available to businesses in the retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors who have a rateable value of between £15,0001 and £51,000 by the Northern Ireland Executive.  More information about eligibility and a link to the application form can be found here.

 

3. Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan Scheme

Following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement on 27 April, (see link to this announcement here), the Bounce Back Loan Scheme opened for applications on Monday 4th May 2020.

Delivered by lenders accredited by the British Business Bank for this scheme, Bounce Back Loans target small and micro businesses in all sectors, providing loans from £2k up to 25% of the business’ turnover with a maximum loan of £50k. Providing lenders with a 100% government-backed guarantee and standardising the application form is expected to lead to a faster process with many loans becoming available within days. Scheme Features:

  • Up to £50,000 loan: Loans will be from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover or £50,000, whichever is lower.
  • 100% guarantee: The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, full guarantee (100%) against the outstanding facility balance, both capital and interest. The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.
  • Interest rate: The government has set the interest rate for this facility at 2.5% per annum, meaning businesses will all benefit from the same, low rate of interest.
  • Interest paid by government for 12 months: The government will make a Business Interruption Payment to the lenders to cover the first 12 months of interest payable, so businesses will benefit from no upfront costs.
  • No principal repayments for first 12 months: Borrowers will not have to begin principal repayments for the first 12 months, thereafter capital will be repaid on a straight line basis.
  • No guarantee fee for businesses or lenders to access the scheme.
  • Finance terms: The length of the loan is for six years but early repayment is allowed, without early repayment fees.
  • No personal guarantees: No personal guarantees are allowed, and no recovery action can be taken over a principal private residence or principal private vehicle.

To apply and find out more information please visit the British Business Bank website by clicking here

You can also view the British Business Bank press notice here

 

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