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Economy Minister Diane Dodds said,

“Our hospitality industry has been hugely impacted as a result of Covid Health Regulations and amongst those hardest hit are those traditional pubs only serving alcohol. These establishments have been required to remain closed for longer than other businesses and been unable to trade. The Wet Pubs Business Support Scheme will provide £10.6million in support to those drink-only public houses forced to remain closed between 4 July and 23 September when the rest of the hospitality sector was permitted to open and trade.

“Roll out of the scheme will now commence during the week beginning the 11 January 2021. Qualifying Wet Pubs will be identified by my Department from a list of recipients of the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme provided by Land & Property Services. My Department will be contacting them before the end of January 2021. Businesses will be asked to supply supporting information to ensure all recipients are correctly identified and minimise the risk of fraud and error. Once applications are verified payments will be made as soon as possible thereafter.”

The Minister added: “To help businesses understand how this scheme has been designed and the eligibility criteria, a list of frequently asked questions is available on the nibusinessinfo web site at www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/wpbss