News article

Coronavirus: £25,000 Retail, Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Grant

22 May 2020


Registration for the £25,000 Retail, Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Grant closed at 23.59 on Wednesday 20 May 2020

I have already applied for the grant, when will I be paid?

Applications will be assessed and payments made as soon as possible where they demonstrate clear eligibility. In cases where eligibility is less clear, it will be necessary to carry out further verification checks, you will be contacted where further information is required and payments will be made as soon as possible. Therefore, you should regularly check the email account (and the junk mail). The grant payment will be sent directly to your bank account and you will receive an email confirming that the grant payment has been issued.

You should note that the Business Grants Team are currently verifying and validating a substantial amount of applications for this scheme. It would be appreciated if you could be patient and await contact from the Business Grants Team. Please be assured that they will be in contact to provide further instructions as quickly as possible.

Applications will be assessed and payments made as soon as possible where they demonstrate clear eligibility. In cases where eligibility is less clear, it will be necessary to carry out further verification checks, you will be contacted where further information is required and payments will be made as soon as possible. Therefore, you should regularly check the email account (and the junk mail). The grant payment will be sent directly to your bank account and you will receive an email confirming that the grant payment has been issued.

If you are not eligible to receive the grant or if there has been a problem with your registration, you will receive an email explaining why.

Be assured that applications are being worked through as quickly as possible.

What if the online form did not allow me to apply before the closing date?

In cases where the online form did not allow you to submit an online application but you contacted the Business Grants Team before the scheme closed on 20 May 2020 and it was subsequently established that you are eligible to apply, the date that you first contacted the Business Grants Team about the application will be considered to be the date of your application. In this case, you will be contacted to provide further information to support your application.

In case of any dispute about the date of the first contact, the onus will be on the applicant to provide clear evidence that they contacted the Business Grants Team before the scheme closed on 20 May 2020.

Rental Properties

If you have already completed the pre-registration process via the online rental properties form, your details are currently being checked.

Your details are now being verified, and if you are considered to meet the pre-eligibility criteria for the £25,000 scheme, you will be required to provide further information including business details, bank details and state aid and other key declarations to complete your application. You will be contacted in due course with instructions on how to provide further information and complete the second stage of the process.

Further information - FAQs and helpline

Find further information in the frequently asked questions on the £25,000 Retail, Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Grant (PDF, 879K).

If you have enquiries about the £25,000 grant scheme call Tel: 0300 200 7809. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9 am - 5 pm.

£25,000 Business Grant Scheme: details of the scheme

The NI Executive is providing a one-off grant of £25,000 to eligible businesses that have a Total Net Annual Value (NAV) of between £15,001 and £51,000 within the retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors, subject to some exclusions.

Eligible businesses/properties
Businesses must operate in a premises in the retail, hospitality, tourism or leisure sectors, in one of the following:

Amusements Garden Centre Race Track
Arts Gallery Golf Driving Range Restaurant
Auction Mart Harbour Retail Warehouse
Bakery Ice Rink Riding School
Bingo Hall Laundry Shooting Range
Bowling Alley Leisure/Gym/Fitness Centre Shop
Cafe Market Showroom
Camping Site Museum Sports Club
Car Wash Office (in eligible sector) Taxi Depot
Caravan Site Outdoor Centre Theatre
Cinema Petrol Filling Station Tourism Accommodation
Entertainment Centre Play Centre Visitor Centre
Exhibition Venue Post Office  
Funeral Parlour Public House  


If you think your business should be eligible for the grant but does not appear on this list, you should contact the helpline on Tel: 0300 200 7809.

Businesses/properties excluded from this grant
The following businesses/properties are excluded from receiving the grant:

  • Vacant properties.
  • Public bodies.
  • Premises used for manufacturing purposes.
  • Properties with a Total Net Annual Value of under £15,001 or over £51,000.
  • Businesses which, as of the 15 March, were dissolved or about to be dissolved, are not eligible.
  • Businesses which, as of the 15 March 2020, were insolvent or for whom insolvency action had been instigated, are not eligible.
  • Businesses that were dormant as of the 15 March 2020, i.e. not trading but not insolvent.
  • Businesses that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:
    • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, short-term loan providers)
    • Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
    • Professional services (e.g. estate agents, solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/financial advisers and quantity surveyors)
    • Providers of childcare
    • Construction

Further conditions

  • Businesses with multiple premises meeting the Total Net Annual Value criteria outlined above will only be eligible for one grant of £25,000.
  • Businesses who have already received a £10,000 grant under the Small Business Grant Scheme, and who have an additional property which falls within the £15,001 to £51,000 Total Net Annual Value and meets the other eligibility criteria for the £25,000 Business Grant Scheme, are eligible to apply.
  • Business that have already received the £10,000 grant on the basis of their Total Net Annual Value in the 7th valuation list at the 15 March, who become eligible for the £25,000 grant on the basis of their Total Net Annual Value in the 8th valuation list at 1 April 2020, will only be entitled to receive the balance of £15,000.

Data handling
You should note that your data will be shared and handled in line with the Department for the Economy’s Privacy Notice.

How do I know the Total Net Annual Value of my property?
You can find the Total Net Annual Value of your property by searching the non-domestic Valuation List.  

Ratepayers whose Total Net Annual Value will change due to Reval2020
This is not a normal rating year because the new non-domestic Valuation List came into effect on 1 April 2020, following the non-domestic Revaluation (Reval2020).  

Ministers want to be as inclusive and supportive of business as possible and want to make sure that no individual business is disadvantaged by the change. Therefore, each business affected by the Reval2020 will get the grant on the basis of whichever valuation list would benefit them the most – the 7th list on 15 March 2020 or the 8th list on 1 April 2020.

Land & Property Services (LPS) will undertake a special exercise to identify these cases: 

  • Retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure premises whose Total Net Annual Value decreased to £51,000 or less on 1 April 2020 will be eligible for the £25,000 grant. The Department for the Economy (DfE) and LPS are working on identifying these businesses.
  • Retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure premises whose Total Net Annual Value fell to £15,001 or below on 1 April will still get the £25,000 grant.
  • Retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure premises whose Total Net Annual Value increased to over £15,001 on 1 April will get the £25,000 rather than £10,000.

Collection of bank details

If you have complete an online application form, you will have been provided with a reference number. You will have been asked to send a copy of your business’ bank statement for verification purposes. The bank statement must:

  • Cover the period including 15 March 2020.
  • Allow DfE to read the name of the account holder, the property address, the sort code and account number.
  • This will be used to validate that business transactions were occurring on 15 March 2020. You can redact any other transactions that you consider to be irrelevant.

You should email a copy of your bank statement and your contact name, quoting your reference number, to the following email address: Business-support-grant-bank-validation@economy-ni.gov.uk 

You should note that the reference number is required to ensure that it is associated with your application. Not adding the reference number may result in your application being refused.  

Please note that a PDF or scanned copy of the bank statement is preferable.  A photograph of your statement can be provided in exceptional circumstances.

The Department for the Economy aims to acknowledge receipt of all applications and supporting documentation within 24 hours of receipt. Due to the extremely high volume of claims at present, please do not contact DfE for acknowledgement within 24 hours of submitting your documentation. We appreciate your patience in this regard.

Why is this information required?
Your bank statement will be used to:

  • Verify the bank account belongs to an eligible business.
  • Check you have entered your bank account details correctly for payment.
  • Verify your business was trading on 15 March 2020.

What if I can’t supply a bank statement? 
In order to complete the verification process, you will be required to provide a copy of your business’ bank statement.

Where you do not have access to online banking systems or have a copy of your statement that covers the period at 15 March 2020 and matches the other bank statement requirements set out above, you should contact your bank to obtain a PDF copy of your statement. If you can only provide a paper copy, then a photograph of your statement can be provided as a last resort - you should note that DfE reserves the right to ask for other corroborating evidence if required. 

Please email the following address: Business-support-grant-bank-validation@economy-ni.gov.uk if there is an exceptional circumstance which means you cannot provide a bank statement and the verification team will discuss options with you.

Rental properties - proof of business ownership

Businesses who occupy rental properties and who have completed the online rental properties form will also be asked to provide proof of business ownership if your business is not already registered on the Companies House database in your name. This evidence could include a franchise agreement or other legal document. A letter from your solicitor/accountant confirming that you are the business owner will also be accepted.

You will also be asked to submit confirmation from your landlord that they are content that you as business owner can apply for and receive the grant (in the form of a letter/email).

Further instructions on these requirements will be issued following registration on the rental properties form.

Next steps following completion of the application form and provision of bank statement

Your application details will be checked alongside your bank account statement and if everything is in order, the grant payment will be sent directly to your bank account. You will receive a notification when your payment has been processed.  

Applications will be assessed and payments made as soon as possible if they can demonstrate clear eligibility. In cases where eligibility is less clear, it will be necessary to carry out further verification checks and payments will be made as soon as possible.

Your responsibilities
You are responsible for providing accurate and true information.

Businesses should note that:

  • Providing wrong or misleading information is an offence and any such information may be used against you in any subsequent criminal investigation. The information provided on this claim form may be made available to other departments/agencies for the purposes of preventing or detecting crime.
  • Any payment must be declared to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as appropriate as part of the tax return for the business. For further information, you can contact HMRC's Coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline.
  • The grant constitutes State Aid that falls within the scope of the EC’s de minimis Regulation. You will be asked to provide information on other de minimis support your company has received and confirm that you agree to the State Aid conditions when completing the online form. If DfE cannot pay your grant on a de minimis basis, they will pay this on the basis of the UK’s COVID-19 Temporary Framework for UK authorities (SA.56841). If this becomes necessary, DfE will contact you to request additional information. 
  • You will be asked to certify that all the information provided in this application is correct and you agree to repay on demand to DfE all of the funding received from this scheme, if DfE, the Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO), DfE Internal Audit Services (IAS) or their representatives decide after investigation, that the grant was awarded on the basis of wrong or misleading information provided when making my application to this scheme.

On the online application form, businesses were asked to certify that:

  • The business on which this application is based is currently experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and has an evident need for financial relief under the terms and conditions of DfE’s Business Support Scheme. DfE will as usual use a risk-based approach to compliance.
  • Any grant received by the business, under the terms and conditions of DfE’s Business Support Scheme, will be used only for the purpose intended - ie to help alleviate the financial pressure of the recipient business and to the exclusion of any other individual or third party gain.
  • The information provided as an authorised applicant for the business is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief and I agree, should DfE, the Northern Ireland Audit Office, or their representatives, determine that the grant was awarded on the basis of wrong or misleading information, the grant will be subject to recovery in full.
  • They accept that acceptance of this grant means that any officer/agent of DfE or Northern Ireland Audit Office or their representatives at any reasonable time to enter its premises to interview the applicant and inspect, copy, record and take away any accounting or other record, including original documents, as may be required for the purposes of confirming the eligibility of the applicant.
  • They understand that providing wrong or misleading information to secure public money is an offence and may lead to criminal investigation and prosecution.
  • They understand that the information provided on this claim form will be made available to other government departments and their agencies for the purpose of detecting and preventing crime.
  • They understand that if DfE approves this application, these terms and conditions shall be enforceable on the basis of a contract between me/the business and DfE.

Operation of the scheme by council, constituency and sector
You can find information about the operation of the scheme to date, at the link below. Based upon applications received this details the current applications decision status, and provides a facility to interrogate by District Council, Parliamentary Constituency, and Sector. Please note, this spreadsheet will be updated continually and you should check the link for the most recent updates.

Download the latest £25,000 grant scheme analysis spreadsheet (XLSX, 89K).

By closure on Wednesday 20 May 2020, the £25,000 Grant scheme for Retail, Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Sector Ratepayers had attracted 3,624 applications. As of Thursday 21 May, a total of 2,531 applications have been approved for payment, with 2,321 paid to date through Account NI to a value of £57.095 million (93 applications were paid at a reduced rate of £15,000 having previously availed of the £10,000 scheme). After accounting for 686 rejected applications on grounds of duplication or ineligibility, 407 (>12%) of all applications received remain and are currently being processed.

Find further help available for business rates and the latest coronavirus updates: support for your business.


First published 2 April 2020