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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business and Employers in Northern Ireland

Advice and guidance for business and employers in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19).Jump to table of contents

Financial support for businesses in Northern Ireland

Nibusinessinfo.co.uk(external link opens in a new window / tab) has information on financial support for businesses, including:

  • how to access the support that has been made available
  • who is eligible
  • when the schemes open
  • how to apply

Small Business Grant Scheme

Registration is now open for for businesses to apply for the £10,000 Small Business Grant Scheme(external link opens in a new window / tab).

The scheme will be extended to include small industrial businesses that qualify for industrial de-rating.

Small businesses that occupy a rental property can also apply at:

The deadline to register for this grant scheme is Wednesday 20 May 2020.

Hospitality, Tourism and Retail Sectors Grant Scheme

Businesses in the hospitality, retail and tourism sectors can apply for grants of £25,000. Registration to the scheme is open.

Non-domestic rates

A number of rating measures have been introduced to help businesses, including a rates holiday for businesses and the continuation of the Small Businesses Rate Relief scheme. For more information, see:

Water bills

Water and sewerage bills for businesses and non-domestic customers will not be issued until July. 

A planned annual increase in the non-domestic water and sewerage tariff will be deferred and reviewed in the Autumn.

Financial support for the fishing industry

A new £1.5 million support package for Northern Ireland’s fishing industry has been announced. It is expected the first payments will be made early in May 2020.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) will contact vessel owners in due course about how to apply for the scheme. For more information and the conditions of the scheme visit the nibusinessinfo website.(external link opens in a new window / tab)

UK wide government schemes

There are also a number of UK wide government schemes that businesses in Northern Ireland can access. To see what support is available for you and your business a coronavirus business support finder tool is available at:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

All UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of your employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

Other schemes include:

For more information visit the nibusinessinfo.co.uk website(external link opens in a new window / tab)

Guidance from nibusinessinfo.co.uk

nibusinessinfo has advice for businesses on common questions including:

For more information visit the nibusinessinfo.co.uk website(external link opens in a new window / tab) 

Business support helplines

HMRC tax helpline

HMRC has set up a helpline for businesses and self-employed people who are concerned about paying their tax(external link opens in a new window / tab) due to  coronavirus (COVID-19). Call 0800 0159 559 for help and advice.

Invest NI helpline

Get help with your business online, or by calling the Invest NI Helpline(external link opens in a new window / tab). Telephone: 0800 181 4422

Emergency Volunteering Leave

A new, temporary, statutory right is available for eligible workers to take Emergency Volunteering Leave to help the Health and Social Care system in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

How you can help

If your business wishes to to supply or donate PPE supplies and/ or services to help in the response to COVID-19, use the form at the link below.

Useful links


Published: 5th May 2020

Source: nidirect government services

Page URL: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-business-and-employers