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Executive Announces £40 Million Support for Hospitality Sector

The Executive has today agreed a £40 million support package for businesses in the hospitality sector.

Over 3,200 businesses will be eligible for a one-off grant under the Omicron Hospitality Payment. The amounts will be as follows:

£10,000 for businesses with a rateable value up to £15,000£15,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,001 to £51,000£20,000 for businesses with a rateable value over £51,000

Announcing the grants, the First Minister Paul Givan said: “Businesses in the hospitality sector are facing huge difficulty at what should be their busiest time of the year. The rise in Omicron cases is resulting in cancellations as people understandably exercise caution.

“Recognising businesses in the hospitality sector are likely to struggle over the coming weeks, the Executive is providing £40 million in one-off support grants.”

Deputy First Minister, Michelle O’Neill said: “As an Executive, we have been listening to industry and recognise the losses the sector is experiencing. We hope this package, which will pay much greater amounts than the English scheme, will help them through these difficult circumstances.  

“As an Executive we will do all we can to support the hospitality industry as we fight this pandemic together. It is also essential that the Westminster Government reintroduces the furlough scheme for workers as a matter of urgency.”

Eligible businesses include; restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, bistros, snack bars, nightclubs, pubs, social clubs and private members’ clubs (but not sporting clubhouses).

Land & Property Services will directly contact eligible businesses during the week commencing 10 January to ask them to confirm their details remain the same to enable payments to be made.

Finance Minister, Conor Murphy concluded: “Once again Land & Property Services, within my Department has stepped up to ensure support is provided to businesses. These one-off grants between £10,000 and £20,000 will provide much needed support to industry. The Omicron Hospitality Payment builds on the almost £1 billion support my department has provided to businesses here through rates relief and Covid grants.

“We will be continuing to work throughout the Christmas period to get this new grant scheme up and running as quickly as possible. Further details will be published as soon as possible.”

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Executive has provided extensive support with 29,000 businesses having benefitted from a two year rates holiday. The Draft Budget 2022-2025 proposes extending this for a further three months until the end of June 2022 for the sectors hardest hit. In addition, a freeze on the regional rate for the lifetime of the Budget is also proposed to keep rates as low as possible for businesses.

Information and updates on the Scheme are available at: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-omicron-hospitality-payment

ENDS

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