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£15 million Support Package

“Today I have spent most of the afternoon on a briefing call to dissect the details of the £15 million support package offered yesterday by the Secretary of State. While this early intervention is welcome, we will continue to lobby hard for further and long-term support for those worst impacted.”

In relation to yesterday’s announcement there are a couple of clear, key points:

  • The £15M package is to deal with the economic shock to businesses and will not be invested in infrastructure.
  • Businesses impacted will receive £7,500 each to support with the cost of the immediate clean up. We stressed that this must be direct monetary value rather than via support services. This was agreed.
  • These cheques will start to be issued from Monday.
  • Impacted businesses will also receive full rates relief from November 2023 through until March 2024.
  • If you have already paid your rates for November, you will receive a refund.
  • Businesses required to temporarily relocate will also receive three months rates relief on the temporary property.
  • This immediate support will be going to operational businesses who were directly affected and will be administered by Newry Mourne and Down District Council.

If you believe you are entitled to this funding please see the press release below from the NMD Council, with further information.
We are still working through and lobbying on your behalf, in relation to how the remaining funds committed will be allocated. A Business Case must be made to the Treasury on how it is spent.

In relation to the remaining funding, we will be engaging directly through workshops and one-to-one meetings with members, on how best to maximise the value of this support.

  1. One of the key criteria for further support will be the requirement to reopen.
  2. Another would be that the business had no flood insurance.

We realise that some businesses need substantial support to reopen, and we are lobbying for further funding to support this initial £15M package.
Businesses suffering indirect loss will be able to apply to the Rates Hardship Fund in due course and information sessions with LPS on this will be announced soon.

BID visited several impacted members yesterday with representatives from the Department for Communities (DFC). We are delighted that they have indicated a willingness to provide additional lower-level support to our members as a result. Further information on what this may look like will follow.

Council Outlines First Steps in Distributing Funding Package Support for Businesses

Newry, Mourne, and Down District Council has outlined the first steps in distributing the funding package aimed at flood-affected businesses and aiding with clean-up costs.

In a visit to Newry yesterday Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris has said up to £15m of support will be made available in Northern Ireland.

The first step for the Council will be to administer and deliver the £7,500 being made available to individual businesses impacted in the district. It is estimated that the Council will start to deliver cheques to flooded businesses week commencing Monday 13 November.

Part of the £15m package is to support the wider economic recovery. To inform this, the Council will be contacting each of the impacted businesses in the coming days to establish more detail on the scale and scope of the damage and determine the most appropriate financial package for the business.

The Northern Ireland Civil Service has also announced further details of the financial support, which includes rates relief for flooded businesses.

The rates relief measure will include 100% relief for non-domestic rates on flooded properties for the period between 1 November and 31 March 2024.  In addition, any business that relocates to temporary premises while their flooded property is being repaired will be eligible for 100% rate relief on the new premises for three months.

Further details are available at: https://www.executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk/news/information-support-measures-businesses-impacted-by-floods 

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Valerie Harte said, “The Council will work quickly and closely with the relevant Government departments to deliver the financial package to local businesses as well as continuing to seek additional support. We will keep you updated on progress on our social media channels and website.”