Coronavirus: Rishi Sunak praises support for NI businesses

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The chancellor said almost 26,000 NI firms benefited from more than £1bn of government loan schemes

Northern Ireland businesses have received an unprecedented package of support to help them through the coronavirus crisis, the chancellor of the exchequer has said.

Rishi Sunak said almost 26,000 NI firms benefited from more than £1bn of government loan schemes.

Figures show £809m has been offered under the Bounce Bank Loans Scheme.

Loans and support worth £237m have been offered under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The chancellor also said a third of workers in Northern Ireland had been furloughed, while about 76,000 self-employed people had availed of the income support scheme.

“We have set out an unprecedented package of funding for Northern Ireland, providing support to more than 25,000 businesses, as well as more than £1.8bn through [the] Barnett [formula],” said the chancellor.

“We are committed to enabling businesses to thrive.”

‘Boost opportunities’

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said the figures demonstrated the government’s commitment to Northern Ireland businesses.

“We will continue to build on this support to boost opportunities and level up across Northern Ireland and the whole UK,” he said.

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