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One further Covid-related death as Finance Minister announces £178 million in new business support grants

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There has been one further Covid-related death reported by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland today (Monday).

That is according to the official dashboard.

The ABC Borough accounts for 284 deaths overall. Newry, Mourne and Down District has a total of 164 deaths. Mid-Ulster currently has 199.

The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department now stands at 2,099.

There were a further 121 positive cases reported in the last 24 hours, with nine in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, a further 11 in Newry, Mourne and Down and 15 in Mid-Ulster.

A total of 1,000 individuals were tested.

There are 182 – up two from yesterday – people now in hospital as a result of the virus, 22 of whom are in intensive care units.

There are currently 47 people in hospitals in the Southern Trust area – 18 in Craigavon and 21 in Lurgan – being treated for Covid-19.

There are currently 23 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has announced £178 million in new business support grants.

“These grant schemes, together with the 12 months rates holiday, will provide a lifeline for many businesses who continue to confront the challenges of Covid-19,” said Mr Murphy.

“This package of support will help businesses and safeguard jobs through the period ahead as we emerge from the current restrictions.”

The schemes, which will support almost 20,000 businesses include:

– A £50,000 grant for large businesses unable to access grant funding during the first lockdown;
– A £25,000 payment to manufacturing businesses unable to access grant funding during the first lockdown; and
– Top-up payments of £5,000 and £10,000 for businesses which received grants during the first lockdown but are not eligible for one of the current Executive support schemes.

The Department of Finance will now bring forward the Regulations needed to make these payments and will release further information once the Regulations are made at www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/covid-business-support-grants.

The business grants draw on Covid funding that has to be utilised by the end of the financial year, the Minister continued: “In the absence of further bids from Departments, I am now activating my contingency plans to support the economy.

“Land & Property Service within my Department has again stepped up to deliver much needed support to businesses.

“These grants will benefit a mixture of businesses including those not provided with grant funding earlier this year, and businesses which have been allowed to remain open but which have experienced a significant reduction in trade due to the restrictions.”

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