The Minister for the Economy has launched a new £2 million COVID-19 Business and Financial Planning Grant (BFPG) from Invest Northern Ireland
BFPG is open to all micro and small or medium-sized businesses in Northern Ireland that are Invest NI customers, or operating in manufacturing, construction, professional services, information and communication, or science and technology.
It provides eligible businesses with financial support to work with a consultant to assess the impact of COVID-19 and develop a strategic recovery plan with financial forecasts.
The call for applications is open until 5pm on Monday 30 November 2020.
Businesses can access up to a maximum grant of £8,000 to support 80% of eligible costs to engage a consultant to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by:
View the approved list of consultants (PDF, 425K).
BFPG will be issued to eligible businesses on a first-come-first-served basis. We recommend you make a timely submission as the grant will close to applications, either:
As a micro and small or medium-sized business, you are eligible if:
If your business provides accommodation or food services to the tourism sector and is listed on Discover Northern Ireland, you could be eligible for the COVID-19 Business and Financial Planning Support Programme for tourism industry.
The following businesses are not eligible to apply:
The BFPG is open for applications. Please read the detailed guidance notes (PDF, 452K) before you submit an application.
You can use the online eligibility checker to find out if you can apply for the grant.
Invest NI customers
Upon successful completion of the eligibility checker referred to above, Invest NI customers should contact the Invest NI Business Support Team on 0800 181 4422. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm.
The Business Support Team will register your interest in BFPG and your Invest NI Client Executive will then give you access to the online application form.
All other businesses
If you are not an Invest NI customer and have successfully completed the eligibility checker you should contact the Invest NI Business Support Team on 0800 181 4422.
The Business Support Team will take you through the onboarding process of becoming an Invest NI customer where you will need to provide the following information:
Invest NI will then allocate you a Client Executive who will be in contact within two working days to give you access to the online application form.
Your Client Executive will also email you a New Client Form for completion. You will need to return this form along with copy documentation to verify address and identity. A video call will be organised to verify the copy documentation to originals.
You will need the following information to complete the online application form.
You will need to provide electronically:
Invest NI has compiled a list of approved consultants (PDF, 425K) with experience in business planning, financial modelling and assisting businesses to raise capital.
Eligible businesses are expected to select a consultant from this list to work on their project. If there is a preference for using a consultant who is not on this list, they will be expected to apply in accordance with the published guidance for the BFPG Call for Consultants (PDF, 58K) before a business can use them.
The consultants on this list have declared that they have sufficient full-time resource and the capacity to deliver the work in accordance with the Terms of Reference (PDF, 236K). This document should be used in discussions between businesses and consultants to agree the project scope to deliver a worthwhile piece of work.
It is the responsibility of applicants to engage a consultant of their choice from this list, agree a scope of works, agree a fee, and be satisfied with their output and to make payment.
If you have any enquiries about the COVID-19 Business and Financial Planning Grant complete this enquiry form.
You can also call Invest NI’s Business Support Team on 0800 181 4422. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm.
The Minister for the Economy has also launched, through Tourism NI, a COVID-19 Business and Financial Planning Support Programme for the tourism industry.
For full details see COVID-19 Business and Financial Planning Support Programme for tourism industry.