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COVID-19 UPDATE: Wednesday 25th March 2020 (Issue No.7)

Many of you have been asking in the last few days for further information on the Business Support Grants Schemes.

Updated information is now available and is published below.

We have also been lobbying for support for the self-employed and have been advised that the Treasury is working on this as a matter of urgency.

The Prime Minister said at lunch time that a support scheme is being worked on, with a promise that we would hear in a couple of days. I realise for the self-employed that this support is vital and once we hear any further updates, we will publish the information.

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.

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


Grants of £10,000 and £25,000 will be made available to eligible NI businesses to help with the impact of COVID-19.

What grants are available?

grant of £10,000 will be provided to all small businesses who are eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme (ie. all businesses with a NAV up to £15,000). This will benefit around 27,000 businesses.

grant of £25,000 will be provided to companies in the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
This should assist around 4,000 businesses.

The schemes will be administered by the Department for the Economy and Invest NI, working with the Department of Finance’s Land & Property Services (LPS).

How will eligible businesses be identified?

  • The ratings system will be used as the mechanism to identify eligible businesses in Northern Ireland.
  • Last year’s rating list will be the basis for payment.
  • Businesses who are eligible as a result of revaluation are also being identified.

How will businesses receive payment?

  • Payments will be made directly into the bank accounts of eligible businesses. 
  • Bank details are held for just over 9,000 of small businesses who qualify.
  • Payment can be expedited to those companies.
  • The focus will be on issuing payment as quickly as possible.
  • An online web portal will be set up this week for the remaining eligible businesses to register their details.

When will businesses receive payment?

  • The immediate focus has been on putting in place a system for issueing the £10,000 grant.
  • Additional processes are underway for the £25,000 grant for the hospitality, tourism and retail sectors.
  • The will be full operational as soon as possible.

Where can you receive more information?

Further updates will made by the Department for the Economy and when they are made available, Newry Chamber will notify you. 


The Northern Ireland Executive has now published a list of essential businesses that can remain open to the public during the Coronavirus Emergency.

The list provides clarity on what retail services and other venues may remain open in Northern Ireland and which should close immediately. 

You can view the full list HERE.

The Northern Ireland Executive has also published a list of non-essential retail services that should close immediately.

You can view the full list HERE.


We would sincerely like to thank one of our members who kindly donated 2,000 masks yesterday to help aid our health professionals, working on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 in Daisy Hill Hospital.

We would really appreciate it if your business would be in a position to donate any of the following items for PPE Equipment and for our heroic health workers.

Current list of items needed for staff within the Southern Health & Social Care Trust:

  • Masks, Gowns & Gloves
  • Male/Female Antiperspirant
  • Male/Female Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Male/Female Shower Gels
  • Hand Creams
  • Packets of Tissues
  • Toothpaste 
  • Toothbrushes
  • Mouthwash
  • Facial Wash
  • Moisturiser
  • Eye Masks 
  • Ear Plugs
  • Combs
  • Sanitary Towels
  • Tea, Coffee, Sugar, Milk & Bottles Water
  • Wrapped Chocolate/Cereal Bars
  • Boxes of Oranges

If you can help with the provision of these items, please get in touch with Paula Tally in the Southern Health & Social Care Trust for further instructions on:

E: paula.tally@southerntrust.hscni.net

Thank you.


We are living in challenging times. Our member, PKF-FPM Chartered Accountants is offering FREE Financial Advice, if you are facing debt issues in your business or personal life.

You can contact them in confidence at:

E: g.digney@pkffpm.com
T: 028 3026 1010


Remaining healthy and resilient over the coming weeks and months will be key in ensuring that we are able to successfully adapt and respond to challenges.

Catherine McIntosh, Founder, Strive & Thrive Consulting will be offering a FREE Live Online Wellbeing & Resilience Workshop for members of Newry Chamber on Wednesday 1st April 2020 at 11:30am.

The workshop will look at the building blocks of wellbeing and resilience.

Participants will develop a wellbeing plan with actionable steps to take away.

To register for this online workshop, please contact:

E: admin@newrychamber.com