Many businesses in Northern Ireland are still waiting for their Covid relief grants from the government, despite almost £50 million being paid out so far. Officials are still wading through application forms and hopefully the vast bulk of these will be processed before the new year comes in as the delay has led to a great deal of frustration and angst for many businesses.
Over 7,000 Applications Have Been So Far Approved
Stormont Finance Minister Conor Murphy is quoted in the Belfast Telegraph regarding the localised restrictions support scheme, saying:
“13,925 applications have been received, 7,025 have been approved resulting in £49m being paid to local businesses.
“4,198 applications have been rejected.”
“Staff were working through the weekend to clear the outstanding cases as quickly as possible and I expect more payments will be released this afternoon,” he added.
Inaccurate Applications Holding Up The Process
He went on to say that there had been a large number of inaccurate applications received which had held up the whole process of granting applications up, saying:
“The purpose of these schemes is to get money as quickly as possible out on to the ground, and the applications have to match, they have to be correct, and there was a high level, for some reason, of applications that were inaccurate in terms of business addresses, bank account details and ineligible for the scheme and perhaps applying for the wrong scheme,”
Disquiet In The Business Community At Delays In Payment
Nevertheless there has been disquiet among the business community of the delays in payment at such a difficult time for them when they need all the support they can possibly get. The government are obviously very stretched both manpower wise and financially of course, but support for the Northern Ireland business community must be a priority, as we are going to need this community to provide the economic impetus to get the country back on its feet in the coming months and years.
If you have a business and you are unsure if there are still grants or some kind of funding you might be able to access why not get in touch with us here at WHR Accountants and we can check all this out for you. We can also help with your accounts of course and with a business plan if you require a detailed plan to see you through these difficult times. Get in touch with us by giving our team call on 028 3752 2909.