Alliance Economy spokesperson Stewart Dickson MLA has welcomed an announcement support schemes covering the cost of COVID restrictions will be extended until the end of the month.
Economy Minister Diane Dodds said payments under the COVID Restrictions Business Support Scheme and the Large Tourism Hospitality Business Support Scheme would continue until March 31, to cover the extension of restrictions. They give financial support to businesses forced to close or limit their operations due to the regulations.
“This has been an extremely challenging period for businesses due to COVID restrictions and a sharp drop in demand in many sectors,” said East Antrim MLA Mr Dickson.
“I welcome the extension of these schemes for another month to protect jobs and livelihoods. These specific schemes are vital as they ensure many of those who fall outside of the LPS scheme receive support, as well as those in the supply chain.
“However, serious gaps remain in support measures, and I would call again on the Minister to urgently consider all those who may have been left out, and put together bids to the Executive to provide support.
“Going forward, the Minister will also need to ensure support is in place for our businesses as restrictions ease, as demand and capacity concerns will still exist for some time. It is clear the impact of this pandemic on businesses will continue for a very long time.”