The UK Government has launched a Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) which will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Details on how to apply can be found here.
The UK Government has published extensive guidance for employers, including details on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and what to do if someone is suspected or confirmed to have the virus.
UK Government support for businesses
The UK Government has set out a package of measures to protect public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. Businesses in Northern Ireland can access the following schemes and announcements:
Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction.
Northern Ireland Executive support for businesses
Because some aspects of business support are devolved in Northern Ireland, Invest NI has provided practical advice for business online here
Businesses in Northern Ireland can access the following schemes:
COVID Small Business Grant - A small business grant of £10,000 for all businesses with a rateable value up to £15,000. This will be automatically paid into the accounts of eligible direct debit rate-payers. Registration is now open for other eligible businesses to apply.
Hospitality, Tourism and Retail Sectors Grant Scheme - A grant of £25,000 will be provided to companies in these sectors with a rateable value from £15,001 up to £51,000. The Department for Economy will be announcing further details on how to apply for this.
In his Budget Statement of 31 March, the Finance Minister confirmed a £100m package allocated to providing a three months rates holiday to all businesses in Northern Ireland. No application is required to avail of this. It will be shown as a 25% discount on the annual rate bill for business ratepayers.
The Budget Statement also provided for:
an effective 18% reduction in the Stormont determined portion of business rates (i.e. the non-domestic regional rate) compared to the 2019-20 figure;
an extension of the existing Small Business Rate Relief scheme for one year;
a deferral in the issuing of rates bills until June.