Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said grants must be delivered as quickly as possible to eligible retail, hospitality and tourism businesses.
The party’s economy spokesperson said:
“I welcome the announcement over the weekend that the £10,000 small business grant scheme will be extended to include those businesses with NAV of less than £15,000 which are eligible for industrial derating, this will be a relief for many small manufacturing businesses.
“The opening of the £25,000 grant to retail, hospitality and tourism businesses with NAV of £15,000 – £51,000 was also announced.
“However that grant application will not open until Monday 20th April and the administration of applications may take up to 15 working days. This has caused a great deal of concern within those sectors.
“Many of these businesses will have seen their operations cease altogether and it is important they get support to meet ongoing financial commitments and pressures as soon as possible.
“I wrote to the Economy Minister on Saturday urging her to expedite the opening of the scheme and speed up the administration with a streamlined process so businesses will receive the grant as swiftly as possible, ideally within one week from applying.
“Sinn Féin has worked with Executive colleagues to protect workers’ livelihoods and try to ensure businesses can recover once the health crisis has ended, and we will continue to do so.”