Conor Murphy said the £230 million package will provide continued support for businesses dealing with the impacts of the pandemic.

“Recognising that the months ahead will continue to be hugely challenging, extending the 12 months rates holiday in the hardest hit sectors will protect jobs. This package goes well beyond what has been announced in England and demonstrates the Executive’s commitment to providing certainty and support for businesses.

“It also protects councils’ rate income as the Executive will cover the full cost of the rates holiday.”

Businesses pay rates on the properties they occupy and could have been subject to the payment despite many having to shut their doors as a result of the pandemic.

The Executive also announced targeted support for two sectors which have suffered badly from the impact of Covid.