We have collated information, support, and guidance to help manage the impact of COVID-19 for your business and your employees.

General Information

The NI Executive published its 5 Step ‘Roadmap to Recovery‘which will allow us all to understand the measures and checks needed prior to a relaxation of current legislation.

You can stay up to to date with government and national health service information at the links below:

Business Continuity Planning

Business continuity management will help you identify those parts of your organisation you can’t afford to lose, and plan how to maintain them when incidents occur.

The Gov.uk toolkit will help you prepare a plan you can tailor to suit your business.

Business Continuity Resources

Industry specific updates

Hospitality & Tourism

Reopening your business

Here at Destination CQ BID we are committed to helping you get back up and operational as swiftly as possible.

Practical advice for reopening your business: An overview of government advice and resources along with the essential steps needed to reopen your business safely. (PDF Checklist)

Invest NI Safe Workplace Checklist: A checklist is focused on helping employers identify practical measures to consider in order to make their workplace safe.

For Business: Loans, Grants & Rebates

Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme

The Localised Restrictions Support Scheme provides financial support to businesses which have been required to close or severely limit operations at their premises under the Health Protection Regulations that have been put in place by the NI Executive

Find out of your are eligible and how to apply here.

Stability and Renewal Programme for Arts Organisations

Following the announcement of a £29m allocation from the NI Executive to support the arts, culture, heritage, languages and the wider creative industries sectors the Arts Council has this co-designed programme with the Department for Communities.

Find out how to apply here.


The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers that has been extended until the end of October. 

Any employer will be eligible to get grant for those who are furloughed to keep them on.

  • Up to 80% of wages up to £2,500 threshold per month.
  • Back dated to 1st March and will be open until 31st October 2020 
  • Part-Time flexible furlough will be implemented to support businesses reopening

Job Retention Bonus
The Job Retention Bonus allows you to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every eligible employee you have furloughed and claimed for through the CJRS and kept
continuously employed until at least 31 January 2021. You do not have to pay this money to your employee

Job Support Scheme

A new Job Support Scheme will be introduced from 1 November. Under the scheme, which will run for six months, the government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand.

Download the Job Support Scheme Factsheet here.


Small and Micro Business ‘Bounceback’ Loans

A 100% government backed loan scheme for small business.

  • Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days
  • loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form

More information


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme 

  • Extended until 30th November 2020
  • The scheme has been extended so that all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19
  • Useful Video for filling in the paperwork can be found here 
  • Full list of CBIL Scheme providers can be found here 

More Information

Rent / Landlord Arrangements 

Ban on eviction for commercial tenants

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction.

  • Commercial tenants unable to pay rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction
  • Measures support ongoing conversations between landlords and tenants about voluntary arrangements
  • Latest measure builds on the unprecedented package of support for businesses already announced

More Information


For Business: Filing, Tax & Rates

VAT Deferral

The VAT Deferral scheme ended on 30th June 2020,

Businesses who deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will now have the option to pay in smaller payments over a longer period.

Instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, you can make smaller payments up to the end of March 2022, interest free.


HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you run a business or are self-employed and are concerned about paying your tax due to coronavirus, you can call HMRC on 08000 0159 559

For those who are unable to pay due to coronavirus, HMRC will discuss your specific circumstances to explore:

  • agreeing an installment arrangement
  • suspending debt collection proceedings
  • cancelling penalties and interest where you have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately

The helpline number is 0800 0159 559

You can access all HMRC webinar and announcements via their Youtube Channel


If Covid-19 has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts you can apply for an automatic and immediate 3 month extension.  This must be done before the filing deadline.

Companies that have already extended their filing deadline, or shortened their accounting reference period, may not be eligible for an extension.

More information


Business Rates

NI wide measures have been implemented for a Rates ‘holiday between April-July across all business sectors.

Targeted 100% Rate Relief  has now been implemented until March 31st 2021 for Tourism, Hospitality and Retail businesses

Read the full info here 

Still missing out ?


Freelancers & Self Employed

A big question mark remains over the self-employed.  Whilst a best fit scenario was never going to be achieved; the chancellor has brought in some measures with regards uplifting Universal Credit and access to Universal credit.

  • Self-employed people can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.
  • Self-Assessment payments deferred until Jan 2021
  • Remove the minimum floor – thus allowing access to SSP through U/C
  • Increase U/C £1000/annum
  • Increase working tax credits £100/annum

Are you eligible ? Find out here

More information 


Universal Credit

The Universal Credit standard allowance will increase by£1,000 a year for the next 12 month.

If you are not eligible to receive sick pay you can apply for Universal Credit and/or New Style Employment & Support Allowance.

Anyone self-isolating who is self-employed can apply for Universal Credit or new-style Employment & Support Allowance.

You can also apply for these if you are prevented from working because of a risk to public health.

More Information 


Finance Support

If you are in a crisis situation you can apply for financial help by contacting the Department’s Finance Support service on 0800 587 2750 (Freephone) or 0800 587 2751 (textphone for customers with hearing difficulties).

If claiming Universal Credit you can also apply for a Universal Credit Contingency Fund grant by contacting the Finance Support service and choosing option 2.


It looks like the UK will be dealing with coronavirus for a lot of this year and there’s still a lot of uncertainty about where we’ll end up. The more you can do now to plan ahead will save you time and energy – and importantly, money– when you might not be feeling at your best.

More Information

Other useful information and contacts:


Training Resources

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