Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister for the Economy what urgent measures are being taken to make payments under the Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme [Priority Written]
Minister for the Economy: Invest NI aim to make payments as quickly as possible to successful applicants that have met the eligibility criteria. I have asked officials in Invest NI and my Department to be as flexible and inclusive as possible in the administration of the scheme, to accelerate the processing of applications. I have been encouraged by the progress made to deliver support to eligible businesses to date. Whilst I appreciate the need to ensure funding is allocated in a timely manner, it is imperative that as custodians of public money, reasonable requirements are in place to ensure that funding is directed to those that need it most and to safeguard against fraud.