Business rates holiday extension for Northern Ireland

The business rates holiday in Northern Ireland will be extended for a further 12 months for hospitality, tourism and leisure businesses.

Northern Ireland joins Wales and Scotland in giving local businesses an extension of a further year on business rates. Currently in England, the holiday was only extended until June, with a two-thirds ‘discount’ for the remaining nine months of the financial year.

Colin Neill, chief executive of Hospitality Ulster, said: “This is really welcome at a time when our member businesses are dead on their feet, having either been closed or required to operate under the most severe restrictions for nearly a year.

“Hospitality businesses are burning up £1m a day to keep their businesses closed and will lose at least one-third of this year’s turnover before they open, so further financial assistance in the form of a top-up grant and a refinancing grant to support reopening will be essential.”

Londonderry Chamber president Dawn McLaughlin said: “This is excellent news, a common sense step which will help relieve the burden on thousands of businesses as they look to rebuild and recover over the next year.

“It is also crucial in freeing up cash within businesses to meet their ongoing costs, although more support is needed to ensure many of these companies are still here when the economy fully reopens.”

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