Conservative forecasts say this pattern of disruption will be for at least 3 months and potentially up to 18 months. We anticipate that schools will re-open in September but it’s worth saying that society will be changed by this.
Most of this information has been collated by our friends at the Bank of England NI and is posted with their permission.
Here is a link to the NI government page giving further details of what is available for NI firms https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-guidance-information-for-ni-businesses-employers. At the bottom left there is a link to FAQs http://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/faqs/.
The grants and business rate relief scheme is devolved to the NI Executive and the package they have announced will be administered by DfE/InvestNI. Details can be found here: https://www.economy-ni.gov.uk/news/covid-19-business-support-grant-schemes. A new portal has been launched today for the small business grants and businesses to register their bank details https://www.covid-19smallbusinessgrants.economy-ni.gov.uk/. The first payments are expected to be made early next week.
The COVID-19 Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) (up to £5m loans) was launched on Monday 23 March and will be delivered through the British Business Bank, via their accredited lenders. The link is: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/ This is now open for applications and you should speak to your bank/an accredited lender in the first instance.
The Association of British Insurers have issued a statement on business insurance cover here and have a COVID-19 hub here which includes business insurance, trade credit, income protection and pensions and investments.
Also, in case useful:
https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/campaign/coronavirus-updates-support-your-business – Website operated by InvestNI
FSB have a list of people to speak to for help https://www.fsb.org.uk/resources-page/what-help-for-coronavirus-covid-19-will-there-be-and-where-can-i-go-for-it.html
For anyone involved with charities: https://www.civilsociety.co.uk/news/coronavirus-what-charities-need-to-know.html
Consumer Council NI which may also be useful for employees https://www.consumercouncil.org.uk/coronavirus