The shortlist for the Greater Newry Area Business Awards 2021 was announced this week as we build towards the Gala Awards Ceremony which takes place in the Canal Court Hotel & Spa on Thursday 7th October 2021.
You can view the shortlist HERE and you can book tickets HERE.
In this week’s update, we have included important information for members to read on the latest relaxations to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) Regulations which will come into effect tomorrow, Friday 10th September 2021 at 5pm.
NI Finance Minister, Conor Murphy MLA has also extended emergency protection for business tenants having difficulty paying rent on commercial leases as a result of the pandemic until March 2022.
The UK government has announced further delays to checks at Northern Ireland ports on goods arriving to NI from GB which you can read more on below.
Members due to file accounts with Companies House by the end of September 2021 should use the online service where possible and allow time to avoid delays.
LCCC & NMDDC have also launched a new ‘Accelerator Sales Programme’ which you can find further information on how to apply below.
Finally, don’t forget to join our three Facebook Groups, which have been set up by the Chamber to support local businesses.
1. SHOP, DINE & STAY NEWRY – JOIN GROUP HERE.
2. NETWORK NEWRY – JOIN GROUP HERE.
3. JOBS NEWRY – JOIN GROUP HERE.
Chief Executive Officer
Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade
SUMMARY: CHANGES TO NI COVID-19 REGULATIONS
The NI Executive has agreed a number of relaxations to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) Regulations which will come into effect on Fri 10th Sept 2021 at 5pm.
The modest changes are in line with its pathway out of restrictions, retaining a cautious approach as COVID-19 continues to present challenges. The following changes will come into effect at 5pm on Fri 10th Sept 2021.
DOMESTIC INDOOR SETTINGS:
The maximum number of people who may meet indoors in a domestic setting is 15 from up to 4 households.
WORKING FROM HOME:
While the message to work from home where possible and appropriate remains, NI Executive would encourage employers to plan for a return to the workplace with consideration of mitigations to control the spread of the virus and engagement with employees on the beneficial use of flexible working where appropriate.
The NI Executive agreed that the current requirement for table service will be eased, both indoors and outdoors, to enable customers place orders or pay at the bar.
However, in indoor settings, customers will still be required to return to their table in order to consume their food or drink. Because there is less risk in outdoor settings, the prohibition on standing to consume food and drink outdoors will be removed.
The hospitality sector will need to consider how best to manage the movement and queueing of customers to mitigate risk. In addition, the requirement to wear face coverings while not seated indoors will continue.
MUSIC & DANCING:
In relation to indoor, live performance events (concerts), the requirements for tickets to be purchased in advance and allocated seating is removed. However customers must still be seated and the requirement to record contact details for all attendees continues.
The current restriction on music to background or ambient levels where that restriction applies is removed.
In addition, the current restriction on dancing in indoor settings is removed insofar as it applies to post-wedding and civil partnership celebrations.
CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION.
PROTECTION FOR BUSINESS TENANTS EXTENDED
NI Finance Minister, Conor Murphy MLA has extended emergency protection for business tenants having difficulty paying rent on commercial leases as a result of the pandemic until March 2022.
The special provision in the Coronavirus Act 2020 which was first applied at the end of March 2020, is being extended once again, until March 2022, giving a total of 24 months special protection, which is in line with England and Wales.
The temporary protection applies to all business tenancies within the meaning of the Business Tenancies (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 and to any tenancy to which the Order would apply if any relevant occupier were the tenant.
CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION.
BREXIT: DELAY ON CHECKS ON GOODS FROM GB TO NI
The UK government has announced further delays to checks at NI ports on goods arriving to NI from GB.
These checks are a requirement of the NI Protocol. This means some products need to be checked as they arrive from GB but grace periods mean that not all the checks have been implemented.
Some of these grace periods were due to expire at the end of September 2021 but the UK government has now indefinitely extended them.
In a statement, Brexit Minister, Lord Frost said the move was necessary to “provide space for further potential discussions” with the EU.
Lord Frost’s statement said: “The government will continue to operate the protocol on the current basis. This includes the grace periods and easements currently in force. Operational and other guidance will be updated to reflect this approach.”
The EU says it will be as flexible as possible within the terms of the NI Protocol but will not renegotiate.
CLICK HERE TO READ LORD FROST’S FULL STATEMENT.
FILE COMPANY ACCOUNTS EARLY & ONLINE TO AVOID DELAYS
If you’re due to file accounts with Companies House by the end of September use the online services where possible and allow plenty of time.
Companies House are continuing to follow government guidance for working safely during the pandemic. This means it could take longer than usual to process paper documents sent by post.
FILE YOUR ACCOUNTS ONLINE:
Companies House online services are available 24/7 and there are inbuilt checks to help you avoid mistakes.
You’ll need your company authentication code to file online. If you need to request a new code, you should allow up to 5 days for this to arrive at the company’s registered office.
You can use third party software to file your accounts.
SENDING PAPER RETURNS:
You should only send paper accounts if you company cannot file online. If you need to file your accounts on paper, you should send them in advance of the deadline.
It’s the directors’ responsibility to file company accounts and you must file accounts even if your company is dormant or not trading.
CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION.
LCCC & NMDDC: SALES ACCELERATOR PROGRAMME
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
The core aim of the Sales Accelerator Programme is to provide assistance to small business owners/managers to explore, target and convert new sales opportunities.
Strand A: Will focus on helping participants to grow new business in Northern Ireland.
Strand B: Will focus on helping participants grow new business in either the Republic of Ireland or GB.
Strand C: Trade missions to ROI & GB.
(Only those participating in Strand B will have the opportunity to be involved in Strand C)
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
To be considered for a place, your business must:
► Be based in the LCCC or NMDDC Area.
► Be trading for more than 6 months.
► Employ less than 50 people.
► Have both sales growth and job creation potential.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Strand A: FREE of charge
Strand B: FREE of charge
Strand C: £150 + VAT
(For travel & accommodation as part of trade mission)
HOW LONG DOES THE PROGRAMME LAST?
Wave 1 of the programme will commence early Oct 2021 and will run for 4 months until Jan 2022.
DEADLINE TO APPLY:
Fri 8th Oct 2021 at 3pm.
CLICK HERE TO APPLY.