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

COVID-19 UPDATE: Thursday 26th March 2020 (Issue No.8)

In this evening’s business update, we have provided information on:

  • How to apply for the £10,000 Small Business Grant Scheme.
  • Information on NMDDC’s Business Support Programmes.
  • What to do if you are unable to pay HMRC due to Coronavirus.
  • Changes to Daisy Hill Hospital’s A&E, which have been announced to ensure capacity and services for COVID-19 patients within the Southern Trust Area.

The Chancellor has just announced measures for self-employed and freelance workers.

In summary they are:

  • Self-employed people will be able to apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last 3 years, up to £2,500 a month.
  • The scheme will last for 3 months and should be operational by June.
  • It will apply to those with trading profits up to £50,000 a year.
  • You must make the majority of your income from self-employment and have filed a tax return for 2019.
  • If you haven’t filed your tax return, a further 4 weeks will be given to complete your return.

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

Monitor our social media channels and check your email inbox for regular updates.

You can contact me at:

Stay safe.

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


Registration is NOW OPEN for eligible businesses to apply for the:

£10,000 Small Business Grant Scheme

Land & Property Services (LPS) will be making automatic payments to those eligible businesses whose bank account details are held for the purposes of paying rates by Direct Debit.

The first payment in the Small Business Grant Scheme will be made on 31/03/2020, if not before.

Eligible businesses that Land & Property Services (LPS) don’t currently hold bank account details for can complete the online registration form below.



It is time to put strategies in place to future proof your business.

The disruption caused by the Coronavirus makes it more important than ever for the local business community to access business support and advice.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council have adopted their suite of programmes to ensure business support will continue, with technology being used to ensure that all elements of the programmes are delivered safely and in line with PHA advice.

The Council is taking registrations for the NMD Business Growth Programme and the Digital Growth Programme.

Both programmes offer a tailored programme of one-to-one mentoring, networking and targeted workshop events to help businesses address their current issues.

In addition, a new Business Resilience Programme is now open for registrations. Designed specifically to address challenges arising out of COVID-19, this programme will support businesses to complete a diagnostic check of current challenges and support them through 4 online workshops including: 

  • Personal Strength.
  • Leadership in Crisis.
  • Mental Health.
  • One-to-one mentoring will also be provided through the programme.

To enquire about any of the above support or any guidance around COVID-19 Business Support, contact the Business Development Team via:

Email: business@nmandd.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/nmdbusiness
Twitter: www.twitter.com/nmdbusiness


If you are concerned about paying your taxes dues to Coronavirus, you can call HMRC’s helpine to discuss your specific circumstances to explore agreeing an instalment arrangement, suspending debt collection proceedings, cancelling penalties and interest for late payment.

The helpline number is 0800 0159 559 and is an addition to other HMRC phone contact numbers.

Their opening hours are:

Monday to Friday – 8am to 8pm
Saturday – 8am to 4pm

The Chamber also recommends that you talk to your accountant for professional advice and support.


Please view the announcement from the Southern Trust below:


Recognising the changes that are planned, Party Leaders at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council have issued the following statement.

“We are living in challenging times and hard decisions need to be made to support the Health Service. Daisy Hill Hospital is an important hospital providing key services to our community including A&E.”

“But we are in extraordinary times. We must trust the advice, guidance and actions of our doctors. In the coming weeks, the capacity of the Health Service will be stretched. It is important that the maximum support is provided in our area to deal with COVID-19. If that means changes to how Daisy Hill Hospital operates to support the COVID-19 response, then we have to support the decisions of our doctors.”

“Everything they are doing at the moment is to protect public health in our area and we must support them in their work. We have been assured that this measure is only required during COVID-19 and the current service will resume once this public health emergency is over. We trust and support them in this decision.”