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Assembly Written Question 12695/17-22

Question: To ask the Minister for the Economy whether she will bring forward COVID-19 financial support for the events sector and traders that rely on now cancelled public events.

Answer: My Department has led the delivery of the business grants and other financial packages of support since March 2020, and is currently responsible for a number of live schemes, aimed at helping those businesses and individuals who continue to be impacted by the global pandemic. One of these schemes is the Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme (CRBSS). Part A of CRBSS is targeted at those businesses required to close/cease trading as a result of the recent Health Protection Regulations and, due to not paying business rates on their premises, are not eligible for the DoF Localised Restrictions Support Scheme. Examples of businesses that may be eligible include businesses that deliver their product or service on a mobile basis or operate from their home. Part B of the CRBSS will support businesses who may not be required to close under the current Health Regulations but provide goods and/or services to those businesses named in the regulations and have been severely impacted. Part B will also support businesses that do not provide goods or services, but are dependent on businesses defined in the regulations being open in order to operate. This could include businesses in the events sector. The events sector and its associated businesses have been impacted particularly hard by the pandemic. The Executive is also aware of this and other Departments, such as the Department for Communities also have a key responsibility in this space. It will be for the Executive collectively to determine if any new or additional funding can be allocated to the NI Events sector.

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