New Flood Support Programme

Economy Minister Conor Murphy has provided details of a support package for businesses affected by recent flooding.

The Enhanced Flood Support Scheme will provide further support to businesses that were directly flooded following the severe weather in late October and early November. The scheme will be delivered by district councils and will open for applications next week. The support is in addition to the £7,500 grants and rates relief that has been provided to date to affected businesses.

The Minister also announced two hardship schemes to provide support for businesses and some other non-domestic premises that were impacted by the flooding but were not eligible for the previous £7,500 payment or the Enhanced Flood Support Scheme. These schemes are expected to open within the next two weeks.

Highlighting the support available, the Minister said: “I know that this has been a difficult and very worrying time for businesses that have been affected by flooding, and they are frustrated that the support hasn’t been made available sooner. I am pleased, therefore, to announce that the councils will begin to take in applications to an Enhanced Flood Support Scheme next week.

“This will provide up to £100,000 to flooded small and medium sized businesses in Newry, Downpatrick, Portadown and other affected areas to cover costs associated with the refitting of the flooded premises and the replacement of damaged equipment and stock.”

The Minister continued: “I have also approved two new hardship schemes that will provide support to others that were affected by the flooding but not eligible for the other supports. This includes, for example, support for occupants of non-domestic premises that were flooded but were not covered by the £7,500 scheme and also support for businesses that were not flooded but were unable to access their premises and hence unable to trade.”

The Minister concluded: “Small and medium sized businesses are the lifeblood of our local town centres. I am pleased to be able to announce this support package, which takes account of the feedback I have been getting from businesses and elected representatives about what is needed on the ground.  I urge any traders that believe they are eligible to check the criteria next week and submit an application.”

Full details about the scheme, including the eligibility criteria and how to apply, will be released early next week.