Economy Minister Diane Dodds today unveiled details of a new £26.1m support scheme for larger hospitality and tourism businesses that have been impacted by Health Protection Regulations to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Large Tourism and Hospitality Business Support Scheme (LTHBSS) will provide support to large businesses in these sectors which have been significantly impacted by the Health Protection Regulations put in place by the Executive. The scheme will provide additional financial support to help these businesses meet fixed costs and overheads associated with the survival of their businesses and the protection of jobs.
The Minister said: “Large businesses within the tourism and hospitality sectors have endured considerable fixed cost outlays throughout the pandemic. Furthermore, they have not been able to avail of funding from either the Small Business Support Grant Scheme or the Business Support Grant Scheme for the Retail, Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Sectors which was made available to smaller firms to assist with unavoidable fixed costs.
“Therefore this scheme will provide support to large businesses within some of our most important sectors to help them meet the fixed costs and overheads that they need to keep their business going and to protect jobs.”
LTHBSS will be open to businesses that have a total Net Annual Value of £51,001 and above which meet the following criteria:
- The business is named within the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020
The business is eligible for the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (LRSS);
- The business is operating in Northern Ireland and was trading immediately prior to 16 October 2020.
- The grant payment paid to businesses should not exceed the maximum levels of State aid permitted under the Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework.
- Businesses which have failed to comply with a prohibition notice under regulation 7 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020(b)) would not be eligible for support under the scheme.
The Department has identified over 250 eligible businesses in Northern Ireland with a total NAV of £51,001 or more. It will follow a tiered payment support structure ensuring that businesses with higher NAV’s receive a higher payment reflecting higher fixed costs The scheme will make a one-off payment based on weekly amounts of between £2,400 and £41,900 depending on an individual business’ NAV.
Eligible businesses will receive a single grant payment based on the relevant weekly amounts - eight weeks of support for the period of restrictions to 11 December 2020 (10 weeks in the case of businesses located in the Derry City and Strabane District Council Area) PLUS six weeks of support the period of restrictions from 26 December 2020 to 6 February 2021.
For example, businesses where the NAV is £51,001 to £60,000 will receive £2,400 per week. This will increase to £2,900 per week for businesses where the NAV £60,001 to £70,000 and £3,400 per week for businesses where the NAV is £70,001 to £80,000. This pattern continues up to a NAV of £600,000.
From £600,001 onwards the NAV bands are widened to £100,000 with increments of £2,500. For example, £31,900 per week for a business with a NAV of £600,001 to £700,000 and £34,400 per week for a business with a NAV of between £700,001 and £800,000. Finally business where the NAV is £1,000,001 or greater will receive a maximum of £41,900 per week.
The Department will contact eligible businesses to provide an application form (with a unique application number). Once the application form has been fully completed and returned with the required supporting evidence, it will be assessed and a grant payment will issue in March.