“My officials are urgently developing a Covid19 Charities Fund, to assist charities to deal with the impacts of this emergency. I recognise the impact this emergency has had on traditional fundraising activities, and that this is a worrying time for many in the sector. The sector is made up of diverse groups, doing fantastic work in our communities. Given that this is a limited fund, it is important that the scheme is carefully considered and ensures the best possible use of the resources available, to support and prioritise needs within the sector.
“I am pleased to announce that the Executive has approved funding of £40 million for this Hardship Fund which will provide much-needed support to thousands of businesses suffering financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19. Social enterprises and charities will be able to access the fund if they meet the eligibility criteria.
“I have taken this step so that the small business that occupies a rental property, and not the landlord or managing agent who is responsible for paying the rates, will benefit.