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£40m for Northern Ireland’s Microbusinesses Struggling Against COVID-19

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£40m for Northern Ireland’s Microbusinesses Struggling Against COVID-19

A scheme to help very small firms in Northern Ireland, impacted by coronavirus and requiring essential financial support, is opening soon.

Northern Ireland’s Department for the Economy has announced a new £40 million Business Hardship Fund to assist microbusinesses that require financial support due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The funding will be available to those firms that have not qualified for the £10,000 Small Business Grant and the £25,000 Retail, Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure scheme. (Both of these grants close to applications on Wednesday 20 May.)

Microbusiness businesses in Northern Ireland with fewer than ten employees will be eligible. Social enterprises and charities may also qualify if they meet the eligibility criteria. It is estimated around 8,000 businesses across Northern Ireland will qualify for this new scheme.

Economy Minister Diane Dodds said:

‘I am pleased to announce that the Executive has approved funding of £40 million for this Hardship Fund which will provide much-needed support to thousands of businesses suffering financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19.

‘This fund should mean that around a third of all businesses in Northern Ireland will now be able to access support under the Northern Ireland COVID-19 grant schemes.’

Details of the Hardship Fund, including eligibility criteria, will be available during week commencing 11 May 2020.

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