‘We help our members grow through a variety of networking opportunities.’

COVID-19 UPDATE: Monday 4th May 2020 (Issue No.26)

As part of my ongoing lobbying on behalf of our members, it is important that I have the most up to date information on the impact of COVID-19.

In partnership with a number of other Chambers, we are running a second business survey and I would appreciate if you could spare a few minutes to answer the questions.

The link to the survey is in the update below.

I have also provided information below on the Bounce Back Loan Scheme for SMEs.

The application process for this opened today.

Tomorrow, I will be representing businesses from across the Greater Newry Area at the Northern Ireland Business Representatives Roundtable with Economy Minister, Diane Dodds MLA, the UK’s Business and Industry Minister, Nadhim Zahawi MP and Robin Walker MP, Minister of State for Northern Ireland.

On Wed 4th May 2020, I will be presenting to the NI Assembly’s Economy Committee on behalf of businesses from across the Greater Newry Area.

I hope you find these updates of value. If you have any queries which you can’t get answered, let us know. If I can, I will cover them in our next update.

You can contact me at:

Stay safe.

Colm Shannon,
Chief Executive Officer
Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade


Following on from the survey we published just before Easter, we are keen to get an update directly from our members about the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses and what areas in particular are of the greatest concern to you.

Together with Belfast, Derry and Causeway Chambers, we have put together a short survey to assess your views on a range of ongoing issues and get up to date feedback which will enable us to continue to lobby on your behalf.

The survey only takes a few minutes to complete and all answers will be confidential.

A few minutes of you time will ensure that the voices of businesses from across the Greater Newry Area continues to be heard.



Following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement on Mon 27th April 2020, the Bounce Back Loan (BBL) Scheme opens for applications from today.

Delivered by lenders accredited by the British Business Bank for the (BBL) Scheme, the loans target small and micro businesses in all sectors, providing loans from £2,000 up to 25% of the business’ turnover with a maximum loan of £50,000.

The scheme provides lenders with a 100% government-backed guarantee and the standardised application form is expected to lead to a faster process with many loans becoming available within days.

The Bounce Back Loan (BBL) Scheme enables businesses to obtain a six-year term loan at a government set interest rate of 2.5% a year.

The government will cover interest payable in the first year.

Bounce Back Loan (BBL) Scheme Features:

  • Up to £50,000 Loan: Loans will be from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover or £50,000, whichever is lower.
  • 100% Guarantee: The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, full 100% guarantee against the outstanding facility balance, both capital and interest. The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.
  • Interest Rate: The government has set the interest rate for this facility at 2.5% per annum, meaning businesses will all benefit from the same, low rate of interest.
  • Interest Paid by Government for 12 Months: The government will make a Business Interruption Payment to the lenders to cover the first 12 months of interest payable, so businesses will benefit from no upfront costs.
  • No Principal Repayments for First 12 Months: Borrowers will not have to begin principal repayments for the first 12 months, thereafter capital will be repaid on a straight line basis.
  • Finance Terms: The length of the loan is for six years but early repayment is allowed, without early repayment fees.
  • No Personal Guarantees: No personal guarantees are allowed and no recovery action can be taken over a principal private residence or principal private vehicle.
  • No Guarantee Fee: For businesses or lenders to access the scheme.

Any queries by SMEs in relation to their specific circumstances must be directed to one of the accredited lenders and not to the British Business Bank (BBB).

You can stay informed with up to date with information HERE.

View the Bounce Back Loan (BBL) Scheme Factsheet for SMEs HERE.