Businesses hit by Covid-19 to receive funding boost

Thousands of businesses hit by Covid-19 in Northern Ireland are to receive £370 million official assistance, Stormont said.

Many workers have been laid off and pubs forced to close following warnings about social distancing.

An official rescue package will include a grant scheme worth £10,000 each for around 27,000 small businesses and a payment of £25,000 to around 4,000 firms involved in retail, tourism and hospitality.

Stormont deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill said the money was being made available to the most vulnerable businesses.

She said she would explore how to support people who rent as well as other measures.

She added: “We are pledging to you all that the sole focus has now turned to doing everything that is necessary to secure our public services, to ensure our employers, workers and their families are supported.

“Our powersharing government is determined to ensure that we act swiftly and decisively in your interests.”

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