We are now one week away from the Greater Newry Area Business Awards 2021, the event is completely sold out and we look forward to welcoming all attendees to the Canal Court Hotel & Spa on Thursday 7th October 2021.
We are also delighted with the initial response to our Annual President’s Banquet kindly sponsored by Ulster Bank and Canal Court Hotel & Spa.
The event will be held on Thursday 19th November 2021 in the Canal Court Hotel from 12noon – 3pm and will mark the end of Emma Mullen-Marmion’s presidency. It will be an extra special celebration as we mark 200 years of Newry Chamber since it was formed in 1820.
Thank you to everyone who has already booked their tables for this year’s Banquet. We expect demand for tickets to particularly high this year as we celebrate this momentous milestone so ensure you book early via the link below.
NEWRY CHAMBER PRESIDENT’S BANQUET 2021: BOOK TICKETS
Also in this week’s update, we have included information on:
► Social distancing measures relaxed by the NI Executive.
► UK Furlough Scheme comes to an end today.
► Changes to alcohol licensing on 1st October 2021.
► A range of upcoming webinars, workshops and training courses.
Chief Executive Officer
Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade
SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES RELAXED BY NI EXECUTIVE
The NI Executive agreed to lift more COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, ending social distancing in shops, theatres and a number of indoor settings.
It will be removed for shops, cinemas, theatres and many other indoor settings from 6pm TODAY.
However restaurants, cafés and pubs are still required to comply with at least 1m (3ft) distancing.
The NI Executive will meet again on 7th October 2021 to discuss easing further measures on social distancing in the hospitality sector.
The NI Executive has asked some sectors to put in place mitigations including proof of double vaccination or a negative lateral flow test.
But this will be advice and not legally enforceable.
Stormont ministers are due to discuss moving social distancing from regulation to guidance when they next meet on 7th October 2021.
UK FURLOUGH SCHEME COMES TO AN END TODAY
The UK’s furlough scheme ends TODAY but the impact on Northern Ireland workers is unclear.
The most recent official figures show that at the end of July, 36,000 people in NI were still using the scheme.
The number has likely come down since then.
Furloughed workers will either retain their job with their employer, find new work, start claiming universal credit or leave the labour force.
Last week, NI Finance Minister Conor Murphy MLA wrote to the chancellor urging him to extend the scheme beyond the end of September 2021 to help support businesses and workers but that hasn’t been granted.
Of the 36,000 people on furlough at the end of July, about half were on flexible furlough meaning they were able to work some of the time.
The largest number (6,400) of furloughed workers at that time was in the retail sector (6,400), followed by the hospitality sector (5,500).
The jobs market recovery has reduced fears that the end of the scheme will not lead to large scale job losses.
Company payrolls in NI continued to increase even as the scheme began to taper and the number of redundancies being notified to the Dept. for the Economy has been low in recent months.
CHANGES TO ALCOHOL LICENSING ON 1ST OCTOBER 2021
The first phase in a number of reforms to alcohol licensing becomes law on 1st October 2021.
The key changes are:
- Pubs and hotels can apply to open until 2am up to 104 nights per year.
- Smaller pubs will be able to open to 1am up to 104 nights per year.
- Drinking-up time will be increased to 1 hour.
- All additional restrictions on opening hours over Easter weekend will be removed.
- Removal of restrictions on late opening on Sunday.
- Licensed race tracks will be allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays.
- Registered clubs will be able to open to 1am up to 104 nights per year.
A number of other phased changes are expected to come into effect around April 2022.
These phased changes include:
- New licence categories: businesses such as craft breweries, distilleries and cideries will be able to apply for a licence to sell alcohol on their premises. There will also be a category for cinemas.
- Children’s certificates: There will be changes to the rules on children’s certificates, meaning that under-18s events could take place at licensed premises.
- Surrender principle: Rules preventing new licences being granted until existing licence has been surrendered will be reviewed within 1 year.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.
WEBINAR: HMRC ONE STOP SHOP (OSS) SCHEME
DATE: Tuesday 5th October 2021
TIME: 2:30pm – 3pm
HMRC’s e-Commerce policy team are hosting a webinar on the OSS scheme on Microsoft Teams.
The webinar aims to raise awareness of the OSS scheme introduced in Northern Ireland as part of the EU’s e-Commerce Package launched on 1st July 2021.
Click HERE for further guidance on the OSS scheme.
Elements to be covered include:
► Overview OSS Union Scheme.
► How to register for OSS.
► Frequently asked questions.
► Signposts to guidance/contacts.
A 10-15 minute presentation will be given, followed by a 15-20 minute Q&A.
The Department for the Economy (DfE) have published a simplified guide to the OSS scheme which you can download HERE.
CLICK HERE TO ACCESS WEBINAR.
BUILDING YOUR NETWORKS TO WIN MORE BUSINESS
DATE: Wednesday 13th October 2021
TIME: 9:30am – 11:30am
As part of the highly successful NMD Tender for Growth programme, this FREE workshop is aimed specifically at SME/Micro Enterprise Owner-Managers located in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Area.
This workshop will cover different ways in which you can exploit your networks to win new contracts.
The main areas of focus will be:
- Getting to know the key buyers in your industry with a view to sourcing out below-threshold contract opportunities.
- Getting to know the key suppliers in your industry with a view to building a team/consortia bid for larger opportunities.
This workshop will be hosted virtually using Zoom and a link will be sent to you in advance of the workshop.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.
SKILL UP: FREE COURSES AT SOUTHERN REGIONAL COLLEGE
Southern Regional College are offering a range of FREEcourses through the Skill Up: Flexible Skills Fund which is designed to boost participation in lifelong learning and reduce key skills imbalances in areas where there are skills shortages.
The NI Economy Minister, Gordon Lyons MLA launched the new initiative to deliver FREE Training Places, in an investment of up to £23 million.
Supported by the Northern Ireland Office, Skill Up will fully fund the local further education colleges and universities to deliver approximately 15,000 training places in over 250 subject areas for qualification ranging from Level 2 up to Level 7.
ELIGIBILITY FOR ALL COURSES:
- Must 18 on or before start date.
- Eligible to work in Northern Ireland.
- Settled in NI and has been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years; or is a person who has indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK.
Candidates are only permitted to complete a maximum of 2 FREE courses at a time.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL COURSES.