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Business Support Scheme applications now open for businesses forced to close due to restrictions

Economy Minister Diane Dodds has announced applications are open for the first stage of the Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme.

The scheme, which was announced last week, will operate in two parts, with applications for Part A opening tonight at 6pm. Full guidance on Part A, including an eligibility checker and application form, is available at:


The scheme will be administered by Invest Northern Ireland, on behalf of the Department.

Economy Minister Diane Dodds said:

“From the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, I have been committed to supporting businesses to mitigate the inevitable economic consequences of the restrictions put in place to manage the health consequences of the virus. While the restrictions are aimed at protecting public health they have had a significant effect on the livelihoods of many.

“Despite the extensive range of support provided to date, both locally and nationally, I understand that there are many businesses who have been unable to access this support.

“I want to be able to support as many viable businesses and organisations as possible. The Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme aims to help those businesses facing hardship as a result of the current Health Protection Regulations, including those, such as self-employed sole traders, that may not have been covered by previous schemes.

“Part A of the scheme, which opens tonight, is targeted at those businesses required to close/cease trading as a result of the recent Health Protection Regulations and are not eligible for the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme. Examples of businesses that may be eligible for Part A of the scheme include businesses that deliver their product or service on a mobile basis or operate from their home, or their customers’ homes; for example a driving instructor or mobile hairdresser or beautician.”

The Minister added:

“I understand there will be frustration for businesses within the direct supply chain who have also been significantly impacted by the restrictions. An announcement of a second part of the scheme aimed at providing support to these businesses will be made by my Department. This will include details of which businesses will be eligible and when the second part of the scheme will be open for applications.”

Eligible businesses who fall under Part A of the scheme, that is those businesses that are required to close or cease trading as a result of the Health Protection Regulations, and are not eligible for the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme, will be eligible for a flat grant payment of £600 per week, paid in one lump sum.     

• The Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme (CRBSS) will operate in two parts:

Part A - A business that is required to close or cease trading under the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 but is not eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Scheme.

Part B - A business which has not been forced to close, but is operating within the direct supply chain to a business that is forced to close/cease trading under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020, and as a result it has been significantly impacted.