The NI Executive is discussing today a plan that will set out Northern Ireland’s recovery from the coronavirus lockdown. Details will be published in the Assembly on Monday and hopefully it will set out a clear plan for our economy to open in a safe and sustainable way.
The NI Executive has already announced a phased introduction of click-and-collect from 8th March 2021 and would be good to see this extended to other retail outlets.
Next week will bring the UK budget and the expectation is that the Chancellor will announce an extension of furlough beyond the current April end date. HRMC has also set out extended payment terms for businesses that deferred VAT last year. Details of this are below.
In recent weeks, there has been considerable discussion about East-West trade across the Irish Sea. The Chamber is delighted that the two key representatives from the Trader Support Service have agreed to join us next Wednesday to provide and update. Registration details for this event can be found below.
Finally, to mark International Women’s Day, we will host Deborah Somorin ACA, on Friday 5th March 2021, in conversation with Sarah Travers. She has a remarkable personal story of resilience, managing diversity and achieving her early ambition of becoming a Chartered Accountant.
We hope you can join us. It is also open to our male members!
Also, don’t forget to join our three Facebook Groups, which have been set up by the Chamber to support local businesses.
Chief Executive Officer
Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade
GUIDE: CONTACTLESS CLICK & COLLECT FROM 8TH MARCH 2021
The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed that a contactless click-and-collect service can re-commence from 8th March 2021 for:
► Baby Equipment Shop
► Clothing Shops
► Footwear Shops
► Electrical Goods Shops
A new three-step arrangement has been agreed to help Northern Ireland businesses operate their contactless click-and-collect services in a safe and regulated way.
Consumer guidance has also been outlined to help minimise the risk to public health for anyone using the click-and-collect services.
CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER INFO.
WEBINAR: TRADER SUPPORT SERVICE
UPDATE ON NEW RELEASES AVAILABLE TO TRADERS
Register now for our webinar on Trader Support Service (TSS) where Shanker Singham and Frank Dunsmuir from the TSS will provide members with the latest updates and info about the support they provide traders.
DATE: Wednesday 3rd March 2021
TIME: 10:30am – 12pm
Since the TSS went live on 21st December 2020, there have been several updates including a number of key enhancements and releases to the TSS.
Our webinar will cover these changes and provide the latest information on:
- Supplementary Declarations
- Tariff Options (At Risk/Not at Risk, Rules of Origin, UK Trader Scheme and How to claim a waiver)
- Simplified Frontier Declaration for Controlled Goods
- Consignment First (Groupage Model)
- TSS Transit Service (GB to NI via IE)
- Indirect Exports (NI to GB via IE)
If your business is involved in trade between GB & NI, this webinar will provide an important update for you.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.
UPDATE: FIRMUS ENERGY GAS WORKS, NEWRY CITY
The Chamber has been liaising closely with member, Firmus Energy on their gas upgrade scheme.
The latest update is that Hill Street has just been completed, with Market Street & Marcus Street to be finished this week.
The next phase will see excavating on Abbey Way and into Kildare Street (estimated time – 2 weeks).
Once this is completed, they will begin excavating along The Mall to link in Kildare Street Junction and O’Hagan Street (estimated time – 2 to 3 weeks).
Footpaths will remain open as will traffic access.
NEW VAT DEFERRAL PAYMENT SCHEME
Over half a million businesses who deferred VAT payments last year can now join the new online VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme to pay it in smaller monthly instalments, HMRC has announced this week.
In order to take advantage of the new payment scheme businesses will need to have deferred VAT payments between March and June 2020, under the VAT Payment Deferral Scheme.
They will now be given the option to pay their deferred VAT in equal consecutive monthly instalments from March 2021.
Businesses will need to opt-in to the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme. They can do this via the online service that opened on 23rd February 2021 and closes on 21st June 2021.
Payments can easily be set up via the new payment scheme portal. Businesses can spread their payments with two to 11 equal monthly instalments, interest free. Payments can start from March 2021 and the earlier businesses opt-in the more instalments are available to help spread the cost and provide further support.
Eligible businesses that are unable to use the online services can ring the HMRC Coronavirus Helpline on 0800 024 1222 to join the scheme until 30th June 2021.
CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER INFO.
MINIMUM WAGE RATES INCREASE FROM 1ST APRIL 2021
Employers should be aware that all minimum wage rates increase on 1st April of each year.
This includes all National Minimum Wage rates and the National Living Wage rate.
The new minimum wage rates apply to eligible workers in Northern Ireland from 1st April 2021.
You should note that the National Living Wage is currently available to those who are 25 years old and over but this will be extended to 23 and 24 year olds from 1st April 2021.
CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER INFO.
CONSULTATION ON AN ACTIVE TRAVEL MASTERPLAN
TO IMPROVE CYCLING & WALKING WITHIN NMDDC AREA
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is working with Sustrans to develop an Active Travel Masterplan for the district.
The Council has launched an online public consultation to find out residents’ views on Active Travel in the district.
The Council recognises the need to move to more sustainable low carbon transport, which includes making improvements to cycling and walking infrastructure within the district area.
This a 10-year plan so it is important to capture everyone’s comments and ideas now. The survey is on the council website which you can complete below.
CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE SURVEY.