Businesses must meet 3 eligibility criteria:
- The business must operate from a property within Northern Ireland
- The business must fall into at least one of the following categories:
- It has been registered with, or is in the process of registering with their local council environmental health department as a business operating in one of the following categories: cafe, restaurant, hotel, guesthouse or pub.
- It operates as a cinema, a museum, a trampoline park, an inflatable park, an escape room, a bowling alley, an ice rink or close contact services operating in commercial premises (such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, day spas, nail bars and tattoo parlours).
- It is a business which has been required to close or has had business activities at their premises directly curtailed by the Health Protection Regulations.
- The business must have been open to the public and trading at the start of the restriction period set by the Health Protection Restrictions (unless the applicant business is a wet pub which serves drink only)
If you consider that your business is eligible for support from the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme in line with the legislation, you must apply online only. Support payments are only issued when an online application for the relevant business premises has been submitted and is found to be eligible for the support payment according to the scheme’s criteria.
The scheme is designed to support the occupying business in a property, not the landlord or managing agent. Applications must only be submitted by an authorised representative for the business which occupies the premises, such as the business owner, director or a senior manager. Landlords must not complete this application form on behalf of tenant businesses who rent their premises.
If you operate from more than one eligible premises, you may apply for support in respect of each one. You must complete a separate online application for each separate premises that you consider may be eligible for support.
Applications will be processed in line with the following regulations:
There are a number of exclusions to the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme, including:
- Businesses which do not occupy business premises, such as businesses or the self-employed who rent space on a transient basis from the occupying business or those who operate from their homes or from a vehicle. The valuation of the property for rates purposes will be used to verify business premises, with the exception of guesthouses and bed & breakfasts which may be valued as a domestic property with a capital value.
- Public sector bodies, NI Housing Executive or Housing Associations.
- Businesses which have failed to comply with a COVID-19 prohibition notice served by the PSNI.
- Businesses which were not open to the public and trading immediately before they were forced to close or severely restrict operations at their premises due to the restrictions imposed by the Health Protection Regulations. This exclusion does not apply to businesses operating as a wet pub which serves drink only (see table above).
- Off-licences and supermarkets selling alcohol, which are solely restricted by closure times.
- Premises solely restricted by latest ordering time of 11pm on takeaway orders.
- Hotels, guesthouses, bunkhouses, hostels, bed & breakfasts, guest accommodation and self-catering establishments which have not received certification from Tourism NI.