Coronavirus: ‘No response’ to Stormont’s request for furlough extension – #NewsEverything #NorthernIreland

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Diane DoddsPicture copyright
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Economic system Minister Diane Dodds says she hopes drink-only pubs in NI will be given a brand new indicative date to reopen

The Stormont Govt has not obtained a response following its request to the Treasury to increase the furlough scheme.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy wrote to Chancellor Rishi Sunak final week to make the request.

On Tuesday, Economic system Minister Diane Dodds stated there had not been a response but nevertheless it was “early days”.

Greater than 200,000 staff had been positioned on furlough in Northern Eire when the lockdown took impact in March.

The federal government’s coronavirus furlough scheme started winding down final week, with firms utilizing the scheme now having to contribute to staff’ wages earlier than it ends in October.

Inexperienced mild for pubs?

On Monday, the NI Meeting additionally supported requires the scheme to be prolonged – however the authorities has repeatedly dominated this out.

Division for the Economic system officers have beforehand warned the top of the furlough scheme might trigger extra difficulties for employment in Northern Eire.

Showing at a Stormont press convention on Tuesday, Mrs Dodds warned Northern Eire might “not afford one other lockdown”.

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At current, pubs and resort bars in Northern Eire can solely absolutely open in the event that they serve meals

She additionally confirmed the chief was persevering with discussions about offering drink-only pubs in Northern Eire with a brand new indicative date to reopen.

About 600 pubs in Northern Eire that don’t serve meals are awaiting the inexperienced mild to open, attributable to an increase in transmission of the virus.

Nonetheless, she burdened that following public well being tips remained as “vital as ever”.

Mrs Dodds additionally gave particulars of two new help schemes run by Make investments NI to assist companies affected by Covid-19.

Companies will have the ability to apply for a grant of as much as £20,000 to assist retailers and wholesalers adapt to promote on-line.

A complete of £1m has been allotted to fund these grants.

Purposes will open on Wednesday for loans from a £5m fairness funding fund focused at early stage small and medium-sized companies.

It’s targeted on sectors together with superior manufacturing, digital applied sciences, life and well being sciences and cyber safety.

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Mrs Dodds and Kevin Holland of Make investments NI gave particulars of the brand new help schemes on Tuesday

Economic system Minister Diane Dodds stated: “The Digital Promoting Functionality Grant is particularly aimed toward serving to retail and wholesale companies higher entry shopper demand and develop on-line gross sales.

“The Fairness Funding Fund will present entry to finance for prime development potential SMEs.

“The funding panorama has modified since Covid-19 and introduced with it many challenges for early stage companies,” she added.

Kevin Holland, chief govt of Make investments NI, stated: “These two new restoration schemes are a part of a spread of options we’re putting in to assist companies progress restoration plans, strengthen provide chains, develop new merchandise and entry finance.”

Make investments NI is continuous to work to get different schemes operational as rapidly as potential to assist companies that want extra help, he added.

Mrs Dodds additionally stated her division was working to develop a programme for apprentices in Northern Eire, that might enable these eligible to say one-off awards of as much as £50,000.

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