Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister for the Economy what business support grant is being developed for manufacturing businesses with a total net annual value over £15,001. [Priority Written]
Minister for the Economy: There are no specific plans to develop a grant scheme for manufacturing businesses with a Total Net Annual Value (NAV) over £15,001.
The £25,000 Business Support Grant scheme for eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors has been launched to support businesses in those sectors with a Total NAV of between £15,001 and £51,000. This was launched as those industries have been some of the most significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is acknowledged that not all businesses can avail of the support provided by the existing grant schemes. As you will appreciate, this is an evolving situation and my Department, along with Executive colleagues, is working to identify means of offering support to local businesses during this difficult time.
The Small Business Support Grant Scheme, agreed by the Executive, which was initially opened only to businesses in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief, has been expanded to include manufacturing businesses that receive Industrial Derating.
The Executive has approved an additional £40 million for a Hardship Fund which is aimed at microbusinesses who do not qualify for the existing schemes and require financial support. An estimated 8,000 businesses will be eligible for this scheme. Further details including eligibility and application arrangements will be announced in the week commencing 11 May 2020.
Support measures for businesses are being kept under review. All businesses are urged to review the existing NI specific support measures and UK wide schemes at www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/campaign/coronavirus-updates-support-your-business