Article provided by NIBusinessInfo

The Small Business Support Grant Top-Up Scheme provides financial support of up to £5,000 to businesses that received the £10,000 Small Business Support Grant in 2020 and have not been paid more than £5,000 under the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme or Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme: Part B, subject to some exclusions.

This grant will cover a wide range of businesses, including those which were allowed to remain open during the most recent restrictions, such as convenience stores, hardware stores, bakeries, financial services, engineering firms and coach services. The business must have been open and trading on 1 March 2021 to be eligible for a top-up payment.

The Small Business Support Grant Top-Up will be awarded in line with the following financial regulations:

Payments to businesses which received the £10,000 Small Business Support Grant in 2020

Businesses which received the £10,000 Small Business Support Grant in 2020 have been automatically assessed for eligibility for the Small Business Support Top-Up. They do not need to apply unless advised to do so by LPS grants team.

Automatic payments to eligible businesses

If LPS did not require further information to confirm that a business was eligible for the Small Business Support Grant Top-Up, their grant payment was issued in late May 2021 to the bank account that was used for payment of the Small Business Support Grant in 2020.

These businesses were sent an email or a letter to confirm that the grant payment has been issued, as well as a remittance email or letter. In cases where the automatic payment was successful, for example, if the bank account details for the business have changed since the original grant was paid, these businesses should now apply online for the Top-Up and provide updated bank details as part of their application.

How to return funds

If circumstances have changed and your business is not eligible to receive this grant, or if your business wishes to decline the grant, you can return your grant payment using the details shown below:

To return the funds by bank transfer to the Department of Finance use the following payment details:

Account Name: Department of Finance
Sort Code: 950121
Account Number: 61063871
Description: Refund 8000xxxxx

The number to be included in the description/text field is the document number which can be found on the remittance advice you will receive. Your business name should appear automatically in the sender field.

Alternatively, you can return the payment by cheque, which should be made payable to the Department of Finance and post to the address below along with a copy of your remittance advice and your contact details:

Account NI
Cash Office – Floor 3
Goodwood House
44-58 May Street
Belfast BT1 4NN

Businesses not eligible for the Top-Up

Businesses which are considered ineligible for this grant will not receive an automatic top-up payment. This includes businesses which already received more than £5,000 through the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme or the Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme.

Businesses which received the £10,000 Small Business Support Grant in 2020 who are required to apply for the Top-Up

Some businesses are required to provide further information to verify their eligibility before they can be considered for a top-up payment. This includes businesses occupying rental premises and businesses which may have moved premises since they received their grant payment in 2020 and businesses whose rate account has been updated since the grant was paid in 2020. These businesses should use the online form below to apply for the Top-Up Grant.

If your business is still operating from the same premises you occupied when your £10,000 grant payment was paid in 2020 and you have received an email from the grants team to advise you to apply, you should apply using the Application ID that was provided in your email.

If you have moved premises since your £10,000 grant payment was paid in 2020 and you have received an email from the LPS grants team to advise you to apply, do not enter your Application ID, but choose your new address on the online form.

Apply for the Top-Up Grant


Businesses which did not receive the £10,000 Small Business Support Grant in 2020

Businesses which started trading after applications for the £10,000 Small Business Support Grant closed in May 2020, which would have been eligible for this grant can apply for the Small Business Support Grant Top-Up using the online form below. These businesses will not be required to provide an Application ID as part of the application process.

Apply for the Top-Up Grant


How much will eligible businesses receive?

Most businesses which are eligible for the Small Business Support Grant Top-Up will receive a one-off grant of £5,000.

Some businesses will receive less than £5,000 if they have already received less than £5,000 through the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme or the Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme: Part B. In these circumstances, the value of the payments issued through the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme or the Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme: Part B will be deducted from the £5,000 Small Business Support Grant Top-Up.

Further information

Queries about the scheme can be sent to the Small Business Support Grant Top-Up Team using the online contact forms only. If you have been asked to apply for the Top-Up payment please use the application contact form as this helps LPS to associate your query with your application.