Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister for the Economy what applications she made to the Department of Finance for funding to support manufacturing industries with an Net Asset Value above £15,000.
Minister for the Economy: The Executive has provided an unprecented level of support to businesses since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Business Support Schemes introduced by my Department on behalf of the Executive have provided roughly £340 million of support to over 32,000 businesses. This included 2,150 businesses who received Industrial Derating with a Total Net Annual Value of £15,000 or below.
In addition to the grant schemes, the Department of Finance implemented the business rates relief valued at over £300 million which included a four month rates relief for manufacturing businesses.
Manufacturing industries were also able to avail of national support schemes where they met the eligibility criteria.
It is acknowledged that not all businesses could avail of the support provided by the grant schemes.
As we move beyond the immediate response phase, it is now important that we start the process to rebuild our economy. The Executive has agreed an economic recovery framework to provide the foundation for economic, health and societal renewal.
On 24 September, the Executive allocated funding for a range of intiatives including, amongst others, £8.6m for assistance to business, £8.4m for skills and youth training, £5.8m to university research and development, £1.85m for support for air routes and £1.4m for energy. The allocations will support the work the department is doing to deliver a wide-ranging and comprehensive programme of interventions to rebuild our economy.
Any decision on funding further interventions will require agreement by the Executive. The Minister, and her Executive colleagues, remain committed to collectively agreeing further support measures as soon as possible.