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COVID-19 UPDATE: Thursday 9th April 2020 (Issue No.16)

Many of us have been operating from home for three weeks. Some for a bit longer.

By staying at home, we are supporting those that cannot work from home. Those working in our hospitals and care homes, our essential services, the many volunteers and community workers looking after those in need and, of course, those working hard to produce food for our table and the shops that remain open to ensure we don’t go short of the essentials.

The Easter Weekend is coming up and it is important that we respect the health advice to stay at home. If everyone follows the advice, then the quicker we can get back to business.

In this update, I have asked for feedback on the impact of the virus on your business.

Please take the time to complete the short survey as it will help me to continue to lobby on your behalf.

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.

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


Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade is keen to hear directly from businesses about the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses.

Newry Chamber, along with Belfast, Causeway and Derry Chambers have been asked by the Minister for the Economy to provide a sectoral analysis on the impacts of the virus on our respective areas.

We have also been asked by the Assembly’s Economy Committee to provide a report on the impact on our businesses.

We have put together a short survey to assess your views on a range of issues and get feedback which we will provide directly to the Minister, the Assembly and other key stakeholders. Your responses will help us lobby on your behalf.

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


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


Newry, Mourne and Down District Council have adapted their suite of programmes to ensure business support will continue, with support delivered remotely and safely using modern technologies. This will allow business owners to participate fully, irrespective of whether they are working from home or from their normal workplace.

The 100 Day Consolidation Programme, will provide businesses with their own set of cashflow projections for the next 100 days, that will highlight their short-term cash requirements over this period.

The programme will allow businesses to develop a clear picture of the extent to which they currently have working capital in their business. It will project with accuracy how the cash position of their business is likely to fluctuate over the next three critical months, while supporting businesses to identify key steps that they can potentially take to free up cash over the next 100 days.

Many small business owners have found themselves thrust unexpectedly into a tough position. The programme aims to help them address this difficult situation as best they can, to get positive results for all involved.

Local businesses are the backbone of our District. It’s important that the Council is there to help them develop as clear a picture as possible of what the immediate future will look like for them, so they can address and navigate any challenges that may arise.

The programme will be delivered by business consultants who have worked with hundreds of businesses, ranging from micro enterprises to some of the largest companies in Northern Ireland.

Eligible businesses must be:

  • Based in Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Area; and
  • Employ less than 50 people.

To register your interest:
Please contact Sandy at Full Circle Management Solutions via:

Email: sandy@fullcircle.eu.com
Phone: 028 9069 1027

DEADLINE TO REGISTER: Friday 17th April 2020 at 12 noon.

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

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


A £750m package for charities was announced yesterday by Rishi Sunak MP, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The key elements of the £750m support package include:

  • £750m pot for frontline charities across the UK, including hospices and those supporting domestic abuse victims;
  • £360m direct from government departments and £370m for smaller charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund; and
  • The government will match donations to the National Emergencies Trust as part of the ‘BBC’s Big Night In’ fundraiser later this month, pledging a minimum of £20m.

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing many charities to change how they usually operate and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has produced guidance to help charities navigate their way through this unprecedented health emergency.

The guidance brings together information that charities need to know during this time and highlights other organisations and websites which may be able to offer support.

This guidance is for charity trustees, their staff, volunteers and service users, along with others who advise and support charities. It also aims to provide advice to the general public on how they can safely assist charities at this time.

Read the full COVID-19 guidance for charities here.

The Charity Commission for NI will be adding guidance over the coming weeks, working to keep you informed. If you feel something is missing, you can contact:

Email: communications@charitycommissionni.org.uk


Aside from the news on COVID-19, the UK government today published a guide for employers on the new points-based immigration system.

This is intended to provide an overview of the key changes that the new system will bring for businesses, the steps they can take to prepare and signpost more detailed information on GOV.UK.

You can view the UK points-based immigration guide for employers here.

Businesses can sign up to receive updates on the new immigration system here.