The Department of Finance is reminding businesses that applications for the Back in Business rate support scheme will be accepted up until March 31.
New and expanding businesses are being encouraged to apply to the ‘Back in Business’ scheme, which offers a 50 per cent rates discount for up to two years if they move into premises that were previously used for retail purposes and have been unoccupied for 12 months or more.
The scheme, which has been operating since April 2022, has been successful in helping various businesses throughout Northern Ireland to benefit from the rates support, helping to provide small businesses with greater financial security and boosting the regeneration of local high streets.
Ian Snowden, Chief Executive of Land and Property Services, has encouraged potential applicants to apply before the deadline, saying: “The ‘Back in Business’ scheme has helped numerous new and expanding businesses with their move into vacant premises, helping with the rejuvenation of our high streets and town centres.
“Having the assurance of this two-year discounted rate relief can provide much needed support at a time when financial pressures can be demanding.
“I would encourage anyone planning to move into a vacant shop unit to start or expand their business to take advantage of the scheme before the application deadline of 31 March 2023.”
Paul O’Connor, (pictured) owner of Bunelos coffee and donut shop, recently benefitted from the scheme with the expansion of an additional store on the Ormeau Road in Belfast, said: “I would encourage anyone who is thinking about opening a new business to avail of this opportunity before the deadline.”
n Further information on the Back in Business scheme can be found at www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/backinbusiness
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