Support to manage the impact of Coronavirus

Keep informed with the latest Coronavirus updates to support your business available on our website nibusinessinfo.co.uk. Access details of the package of support the Chancellor has set out to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption. Find out about support available to help Northern Ireland businesses mitigate the impact of COVID-19, including Business Support Scheme Grants of £10,000 and £25,000. We are constantly seeking to refine our products and solutions to the meet business needs in the current situation and will be regularly updating this page as these are introduced.

How we can help

Invest NI is actively working with stakeholders and Department for the Economy to develop business continuity programmes for all businesses across Northern Ireland. We also have range of support that will help your business to mitigate the short and long term impact of COVID-19 and prepare for operational and financial resilience.

Strategy

We can help you to identify potential problems and create contingency plans so you can make the necessary changes to your business operations, develop accurate baselines and adjust your business plan, forecasts, resources and budgets. Opportunities may emerge and we can help you develop a business strategy to accelerate your growth and develop leadership skills to future proof your business.

We also have a number of online tutorials that can help you manage the impact of Coronavirus on your business such as:

Contact your Invest NI Client Executive or visit nibusinessinfo.co.uk/coronavirus to find out more.

Finance

The Chancellor has announced additional financial support for businesses and the self-employed. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, a deferral on VAT and Income Tax Self-Assessment payments, a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), and an increase in Universal Credit Allowance.

The temporary CBILS, be delivered by the British Business Bank, will support loans of up to £5m. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan and will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee. Businesses in receipt of de minimis aid in the past can still access this loan, providing your business in based in the UK with a turnover of no more than £45m per annum, and meet British Business Bank eligibility criteria.

The Northern Ireland Executive announced two Business Support Grant Schemes: the COVID Small Business Grant Scheme of £10,000 to be issued to 27,000 local businesses, and the Hospitality, Tourism and Retail Sectors Grant Scheme of £25,000 for businesses in these sectors, with a rateable value up to £51,000. Registration is now open for businesses to apply for the £10,000 Small Business Grant Scheme.

Invest NI can help you improve cashflow and access working capital and our Access to Finance suite of products contains six funds totalling almost £200m to support SME growth.

The Government has also launched a Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) that allows self-employed individuals or members of partnerships to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next three months.

We also have a number of online tutorials that can help you manage the impact of Coronavirus on your business such as:

Contact your Invest NI Client Executive or visit nibusinessinfo.co.uk/coronavirus to find out more.

People

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers can claim 80% of the salary for up to a cap of £2,500 per employee, per month and backdated from 1 March 2020. To claim, employers will need to submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been ‘furloughed’ (i.e. employees are kept on the payroll, rather than being laid off) and their earnings through a new HMRC online portal.

The Government has also launched a Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) that allows self-employed individuals or members of partnerships to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next three months.

We can also help you understand the potential impact on your workforce, carry out a skills audit within the context of your updated business plan and identify actions to build the necessary short, medium or long term capability. There is financial assistance towards maintaining employment or meet recruitment and employment costs, and access specialist advice to build skills critical to the future growth of your business.

The Public Health Agency has published health protection measures for you and your employees to follow. The UK Government has also published full guidance on staying at home and away from others.

We also have a number of online tutorials that can help you manage the impact of Coronavirus on your business such as:

Contact your Invest NI Client Executive or visit nibusinessinfo.co.uk/coronavirus to find out more.

Operations

To help you strengthen operational resilience, we can give you access to consultancy support to review your operations and inventory, supply chains and business continuity plans. We can also audit your business processes, review your distribution model and reliability of your supplier base, benchmark operational efficiency, streamline workflows, identify new process management techniques, reduce costs and minimise waste.

We also have a number of online tutorials that can help you manage the impact of Coronavirus on your business such as:

Contact your Invest NI Client Executive or visit nibusinessinfo.co.uk/coronavirus to find out more.

Innovation

Developing your innovation capability will be critical to mitigating the impact of COVID-19, whether it is developing new products, services and processes, or improving the ones you have. We can support you in assessing your current portfolio and consider new investments. We can also provide expert advice on how to adapt these, test and develop new concepts, consider regulatory and intellectual property implications, or tap into extensive research and sector-specific expertise.

We also have a number of online tutorials that can help you manage the impact of Coronavirus on your business such as:

Contact your Invest NI Client Executive or visit nibusinessinfo.co.uk/coronavirus to find out more.

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