New Covid-19 response schemes by Invest NI are welcomed by Mayor

Mayor, Councillor Peter Johnston.

TWO new support schemes to help businesses bounce back from the impact of Covid-19 have been welcomed by the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Peter Johnston.

A new £1 million Digital Selling Capability Grant to help retailers and wholesalers generate business online, and a £5 million Equity Investment Fund targeted at early stage and seed stage small and medium businesses, opened for applications on 9 September 2020.

The schemes, operated by Invest Northern Ireland, are the first of a number of new initiatives being developed by the agency to help companies respond to a new business environment in the wake of Covid-19.

The Mayor, said: “The two new recovery schemes announced by the Economy Minister are very welcome news for our retail and wholesale businesses.

“The Digital Selling Capability Grant will provide practical support for those hoping to take their business online, a key way for businesses to adapt to the current climate, continue to sell to their customers, grow their markets and remain competitive.

“The Covid-19 Equity Investment Fund will be a great help for early stage SME’s within the Borough to access vital finances to develop and grow their businesses at this very challenging time.”

The Covid-19 Digital Selling Capability Grant will provide a maximum grant of £20,000 to eligible small and medium-sized retailers to support 50% of eligible costs. Projects must have a minimum eligible expenditure of £10,000. Full details on the scheme and eligibility criteria are available on

The Covid-19 Equity Investment Fund will provide matching equity investment or convertible loan notes of up to a maximum of £700,000 for technology and innovative businesses. The scheme is typically focussed on the sectors of advanced manufacturing, materials and engineering, digital and creative technologies, life and health sciences, cyber security, precision medicine, big data, internet of things and analytics. Full details on the scheme and eligibility criteria are available on

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