About 10,000 businesses forced to close under the latest lockdown restrictions received lump sums of between £4,800 and £9,600 in the past few days.
Hundreds of wet pubs will also soon start receiving additional automatic payments after the Department for the Economy (DfE) confirmed a separate £10.6 million scheme.
Meanwhile, the Department of Finance (DoF) is preparing to issue at least £48m to businesses approved for the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (LRSS).
The lump payments will cover the six week lockdown period starting on December 26.
The actual overall figure will likely be much higher, as the LRSS offers weekly payments of between £800 and £1,600, depending on the rateable value of a premises.
The LRSS budget currently stands at £90 million.
The scheme, which dates back to the lockdown restrictions announced in Derry and Strabane in October, has paid out £60.4m to 9,900 businesses as of January 4.
A DoF spokesperson confirmed the Executive had agreed to provide the necessary funding required to enable support for businesses to continue for the period of restrictions.
An additional £200m from the UK Treasury was made available for the Executive’s Covid pot before Christmas.
The Department for the Economy has yet to confirm when it will reopen a similar grant scheme it operates for businesses forced to close under the health regulations.
The Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme (CRBSS) paid out smaller weekly sums to businesses ineligible for the LRSS, but closed for applications on December 16.
The NI Business Info website states the scheme “will reopen following the NI Executive’s agreement to implement further health protection restrictions”.
Colin Neill, of Hospitality Ulster, said non-food traditional pubs have only been able to open for 23 out of a total of a potential 290 trading days since March 23.
“This grant funding will be used to offset debt which has accumulated over the months and months of closure.
“The cost of having the doors shut, no trade, but still having to keep businesses alive has had such a negative financial impact on owners.
“We now need the department to waste no time in getting in contact with those who are eligible and get money out to as many as possible in the shortest space of time.
“The next step is the formulation of a recovery plan for the industry to make sure that those who survive these awful circumstances stand a fighting chance.”
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