COVID-19 Support for Business

The council recognises that businesses are currently facing unprecedented challenges and uncertainties as a result of the economic impact that COVID-19 is creating across businesses and homes. 

Some of our programmes are continuing to operate during this time.

Ards and North Down Borough Council is continuing to support the local economy and businesses in the Borough through continued delivery of its business activities and engagement.

All council buildings are currently closed to the public, including Signal Centre, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Despite this the Council continues to provide key business support through it's programmes.

Some programmes are continuing as normal and will be delivered remotely and online ensuring businesses can access and complete programmes safely under the Public Health Agency guidelines.

Business Support Programmes written on White Background


  • SHINE Programme

    The Shine Programme is the Council’s principal business support and growth programme. The programme is continuing to deliver and provide  mentoring support and specialist business advice to help businesses to navigate through the current COVID—19 crisis.

  • The Digital Growth Programme

    Supporting the development of existing and new digital skills and digital aspects of business from all sectors to achieve growth

  • Go For It - Create your business plan

    The Go For It Programme reopened for new applications on Monday 6 April 2020.  All existing applications will be processed and all initial assessment meetings will be delivered remotely via telephone or video conferencing. 



There are a variety of business support webinars available to help you understand schemes and better prepare your business during this time.

Online training and support on white background


NI Direct: Online Training Support

NI Direct have put together a list of online training support which includes courses on digital skills, employability and a links to other online resources.

View courses

SERC: Online Support for Industry

SERC have put together a programme of Online Support for Industry to facilitate up-skilling. The Spring 2020 course guide is now available. 

View guide

NI Chamber of Commerce

NI Chamber of Commerce have put together a series of webinars called Access the Experts, these webinars cover topics such as Cyber Security, the Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Managing a Remote Workforce. 

Preference is given to NI Chamber of Commerce members however some webinars are available to non-members. Please see site for details.

Register now

BT Skills for Tomorrow

BT have launched their Skills for Tomorrow initiative to help families, businesses and communities across the UK. They have produced a range of webinars for businesses and also a range of courses are available for business owners and employees to learn new skills.

Go to BT Skills for Tomorrow

COVID-19 Response: Cash Flow Management

Normally, a positive cash flow is a key indicator of financial health, however, at present, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, even the most successful businesses are experiencing extraordinary cash flow pressures. Invest NI have put together this tutorial for businesses.

Access tutorial

The Skills Toolkit

The Skills Toolkit is made up of free online courses, tools and resources to help you improve your digital and numeracy skills. 

There are courses that will give you an introduction to getting confident online to more advanced digital skills for use in the workplace. 

View all courses

Skills Focus

Skills Focus is a skills development programme funded by the Department for the Economy (DfE) and delivered across Northern Ireland by the six further education colleges. It aims to help local businesses upskill their staff. The Skills Focus programme is available for SMEs with fewer than 250 employees. Businesses can now access free upskilling for their staff, including those who are furloughed.

Find out more

NI Chamber of Commerce

The Professional Sales Programme

NI Chamber of Commerce have developed an online sales training programme to help sales people to develop their own communication style and perfect the process of influencing, managing and closing the sale.

This programme is available to members and non-members of the chamber. A course fee applies. 

Find out more


PWC have produced a podcast series on COVID-19 and the effects it is having on business. The podcasts cover a range of topics including: navigating lockdown, supply chain management and leading through a crisis.

Find out more

Coronavirus Business Advice and Support

The AND business team is here to support you.

For further information or if you need help and advice, please get in touch via email or telephone 028 9147 3788