From DUP <[email protected]>
Subject DUP Covid-19 News Update - 3rd April
Date April 3, 2020 6:33 PM
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DUP Update - 3rd April 2020
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** First Minister's daily media briefings
Party Leader and First Minister Arlene Foster continues to lead the Executive's response to the COVID-19 outbreak alongside the deputy First Minister.

Alongside a daily Ministerial meeting, there have been full meetings of the Executive this week and a daily press briefing.

The press briefing is streamed live on the Party website each day.
Monday ([link removed])
Tuesday ([link removed])
Wednesday ([link removed])
Thursday ([link removed])
Friday ([link removed])

** Business Guide Launched
The Party has launched a business support guide covering different aspects of the assistance available from both the Northern Ireland Executive and HM Government.

The guide can be accessed on the Party website
here ([link removed])

** £100m paid to small businesses
Payments have commenced to businesses through the Small Business Grant Scheme.

To date, over 10,000 payments have been issued representing £100 million in suppport for small local businesses.

A further 4,790 applications are being ratified and assessed, and eligible applications will be sent for payment. Applications are coming in every day and are being processed as quickly as possible.

Focus is turning to the £25,000 grant scheme for the tourism, retail and hospitality sector. That will see payments to around 4,000 businesses and the Economy Minister will be making further announcements on this next week.
The Economy Minister has also confirmed that she will be seeking Executive agreement to extend the three-month rates holiday so that it is at least as generous as elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

** Free School Meal payments have commenced
Education Minister Peter Weir has worked with the Communities Minister to process payments to families who normally recieve Free School Meals.

They will receive £2.70 per child per day for each day of term the schools are closed. This money will be paid to families on a fortnightly basis starting from Monday, 23 March.

Payments began to reach bank accounts on Wendesday, and a majority of those entitled should have received payment by today.

** Support packge for fishing industry
DAERA Minister Edwn Poots has announced a substantial £1.5 million support package for Northern Ireland’s fishing industry.

Launching it he said, "This is the most far-reaching in the UK and will help the fishing fleet to cover their fixed costs for three months. It’s not an answer to everyone’s problems, but it will certainly help the fleet survive what has been one of its most difficult periods."

More details on the scheme can be found
here ([link removed]) :

It was also welcomed by the Party's DEFRA Spokesperson at Westminster, Upper Bann MP
Carla Lockhart ([link removed]) who said it "reflects the commitment of the Minister to our fishing industry. It also shows the benefit of having devolved Ministers who can act quickly"

DUP Constituency offices remain closed for face-to-face meetings.

Representatives can still be contacted by telephone and email. Details can be found here

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