Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme: Part B
The Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme is a support scheme from the Department for the Economy. It is designed to provide support to those businesses directly impacted by the Northern Ireland Health Protection Regulations.
Businesses in the supply chain, forced to close or severely limit their operations as a result of the increased Health Protection Regulations can apply to the scheme if they meet the eligibility criteria.
If you missed applying before the scheme previously closed you can now apply. If your application is successful, any grant payment will be backdated to the date your business was impacted as a result of the Health Protection Regulations.
Note: If you have already applied for Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme: Part B, you do not need to make another application. Additional support payments will be issued to successful applicants for the period that the restrictions apply up to Wednesday 31 March 2021. However, when you receive your initial payment confirmation, you will be asked to respond to firstname.lastname@example.org and confirm whether you remain eligible for Part B. It is important that if you remain eligible for Part B that you provide this confirmation to enable your top-up payment to be processed.
This scheme will be kept under review for as long as the Health Protection Regulations are in place.
If you are no longer eligible for Part B, you can apply to Part A or the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme if applicable.
The Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme is administered by Invest NI on behalf of the Department for the Economy (DfE).
The Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme (CRBSS) will operate in two parts.
- Part A - A business that is required to close or cease trading under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 but is not eligible for the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme.
- Part B - A business that is not named in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020, but which supplies goods or services to such a business, or is reliant upon such a business being open and fully operational in order to trade.
This guidance is relevant to those businesses applying for Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme Part B only.
What is available
CRBSS Part B is open to businesses not been named in the regulations but either:
- in the direct supply chain of a business named in the regulations and as a result, has been severely impacted; or
- reliant upon a business named in the regulations being open and fully operational and as a result, has been severely impacted.
A grant is available to eligible businesses, subdivided between those paying business rates and those that do not. Grant payments will cover each week that your business is impacted by the Health Protection Regulations, up to Wednesday 31 March 2021.
Any grant awarded through CRBSS Part B will be taxable. Any payment must be declared to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as appropriate as part of the tax return for the applicant. For further information, you can contact HMRC's Coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline.
Eligible business paying business rates
For business paying business rates directly to Land and Property Services (LPS) (this means that the rates bill must be in the name of the entity that has submitted the application), the grant payable will be based on the Net Annual Value of the property. Businesses will be entitled to receive a grant for each property they occupy.
- If the NAV is less than £15,000, the grant will be £400 per week.
- If NAV is greater than £15,000 but less than £51,000, the grant will be £600 per week.
- If the NAV is greater than £51,000 the grant will be £800 per week.
Eligible businesses not paying business rates
Business not paying business rates will receive a grant of £300 per week.
Who is eligible
The following businesses are eligible for CRBSS Part B:
- A business that supplies goods to a business named in the Health Protection Regulations. This includes businesses that supply the goods directly or via a wholesaler or intermediary. If you are a food business or drink producer, you must be registered with your local Council in order to be eligible for support.
- A business that provides services to a business named in the Health Protection Regulations. This includes businesses that provide the services directly or via a subcontractor.
- A business dependent on a business named in the Health Protection Regulations being open and fully operational in order for it to operate. For example, businesses that supply services for weddings or events that have been cancelled or postponed due to the restrictions being in place.
Please note that it does not replace or supersede the full Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020.
To qualify, any business that meets the criteria above must:
- Be based and operating in Northern Ireland and have been trading immediately prior to 16 October 2020.
- Have seen their turnover decline by at least 40% as a result of a business or businesses they supply, or rely upon, being named in the Health Protection Regulations.
- Declare that the income lost was the main source of income, accounting for more than 50% of the total income.
Who cannot apply
A business is not eligible for CRBSS Part B if:
- It is a primary producer - ie primarily concerned with crop or animal production or forestry or logging or fisheries or aquaculture.
- It is eligible for the following support:
- Department of Finance Localised Restrictions Support Scheme
- Department for the Economy Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme Part A
- Department for Infrastructure Taxi Drivers Financial Assistance Scheme and Bus Operator Financial Assistance Scheme
- Department for Communities Covid-19 Culture, Languages, Arts and Heritage Support Programme
- It has failed to comply with a COVID-19 prohibition notice, served by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), under regulation 7 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020(b).
- The grant to be paid to the business will mean it will exceed the maximum level of State Aid permitted under the EC’s de Minimis Regulation. The State Aid de minimis ceiling is €200,000 over the three previous consecutive fiscal years.
Before applying, applicants should read the CRBSS Part B - guidance notes (PDF, 469K) and the CRBSS Part B - frequently asked questions (PDF, 556K).
How you can prepare to apply
If you are eligible to apply, there are some steps you can take to prepare.
The information and evidence requested are necessary to validate the application to ensure public funds are managed properly.
You will need the following information to complete the online application form:
- Your business name (or your own name if this is what you trade under)
- Your contact name and number.
- Your business address and postcode.
- Your bank account number and sort code for a UK or Sterling account used for trading purposes.
- Your 10 digit HMRC Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).
- For the self-employed, this is linked to Schedule D earnings from any trade or profession.
- For limited companies, this is linked to Corporation Tax.
- Your HMRC VAT Registration Number, if you are VAT registered.
- If you pay business rates directly to Land & Property Services (LPS) for the premises you operate from, your LPS Non-Domestic Ratepayer ID(s) and Occupancy ID(s) and a scanned, photograph or screenshot copy of your Non-Domestic Rates Bill(s).
- Your company registration number, if you have one, issued by Companies House, beginning with NI followed by six numbers. For example, NI123456.
- Confirmation that your turnover has declined by at least 40% due to a business that you supply, or rely upon, having had to close or cease trading as a result of the Health Protection Regulations. You will also be asked to explain how this has impacted your business.
- Confirmation that this business is your main source of income - ie this business must account for more than 50% of your total income.
- Confirmation that the CRBSS Part B grant payment will not take your business over the State Aid de minimis ceiling of €200,000 over the three previous consecutive fiscal years.
You will also need to provide electronically:
- A clear and legible scanned or photograph copy of your HMRC SA302 or tax calculation document, or your SA250 document, which demonstrates that you are a business. This should show your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), as well as your name and address.
- Evidence to confirm your business either:
- provides goods or services, either directly or indirectly, to a business named in the Health Protection Regulations, or
- relies on a business named in the Health Protection Regulations being open and fully operational in order for it to operate.
- Evidence of cancelled orders/bookings relating to the period of the restrictions as a result of a business named in the Health Protection Regulations either closing or having to operate under restricted terms. This evidence is required to demonstrate that your business is in the direct supply chain to a business named in the Health Protection Regulations.
- Evidence of recent trading (ie trading between September and December 2020). A clear and legible scanned, photograph or screenshot copy of a bank statement that covers the month prior to the date your business was impacted as a result of the Health Protection Regulations must be provided as a minimum.
- This must be the same account to which the CRBSS Part B grant payment will be made.
- The statement must clearly show your business address; account name, number and sort code; and date of issue of the statement.
- If you pay business rates directly to Land & Property Services (LPS) (this means that the rates bill must be in the name of the entity that has submitted the application) for the premises you operate from, your LPS Non-Domestic Ratepayer ID(s) and Occupancy ID(s) and a scanned, photograph or screenshot copy of your Non-Domestic Rates Bill(s).
- To verify the identity of the applicant, a form of Photographic ID as proof of your identity, such as a clear and legible scanned, photograph or screenshot copy of a valid passport or a current (full or provisional) driving licence photocard. All Northern Ireland full driving licences with an expiry date between 1 February and 31 December 2020 will be treated as valid for a further eleven months. This does not apply to provisional driving licences.
Please note: Documents must be clear and legible. The maximum file size of each attached document is 3MB.
To strengthen your application, we recommend that a registered accountant completes the template provided using their official letterhead. This will provide independent verification of the information you have provided in your application and although not mandatory, it will strengthen your application.
How to apply
Businesses applying to CRBSS Part B must complete an online pre-eligibility check. The checker asks key questions against the scheme’s criteria and directs eligible applicants to the online application form.
If you have any enquiries about CRBSS Part B, complete the online enquiry form.
Clearly state that your query relates to CRBSS Part B, as this will assist with the processing of your enquiry.
You can also contact the dedicated helpline on Tel: 0800 952 4422. Lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4:30pm.
The Department of Finance manages the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme. Email all queries on this scheme to Localised.Restrictions@finance-ni.gov.uk.
Operation of the CRBSS Part B by Council and Constituency
Between 28 October and 18 February 2021 inclusive, 2,302 applications were started and 1,652 were submitted under CRBSS Part B, with 678 applicants paid to date to a value of £2.6 million.
You can find more information about the operation of CRBSS Part B, including applications received, their current application stage, alongside data by District Council and Parliamentary Constituency area. This data is updated weekly - download the latest statistics on the Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme Part B (PDF, 581K).
Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme Helpline0800 952 4422 (Mon to Fri: 9am to 4:30pm)