Home Business Information and Advice

Business Information and Advice

Business Support

In this section, local businesses and self employed individuals can access all the latest information on financial assistance, support programmes as well as practical advice and guidance.

Financial Support

For further information on the latest financial support for businesses in Northern Ireland click here.

Practical Assistance

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s  ‘COVID Aware’ scheme has been designed to support local economic recovery and the revitalisation of our city, towns and village centres whilst at the same time respecting the controls needed to maintain public health and minimise community transmission of Coronavirus. This initiative is being rolled out Borough wide to businesses within the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors, however other sectors can apply if they wish to be considered for the scheme.

This ‘Covid Aware’ Scheme is aimed at boosting customer confidence to support safe local shopping and the return of customers and visitors to our city and town centres and villages, in the knowledge that businesses are taking positive steps to keep their customers and staff safe.

Businesses are required to complete the ‘Covid Aware’ Self Declaration form. This can be found below:

Business / ServiceGuidance
Close contact services
Keeping workers and clients safe in close contact servicesSafe working guidance for people who provide close contact services, including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers.

Click here to download.
Hairdressers and barbers reopening checklist This checklist is a quick guide to support hairdressers and barbers reopening during Covid-19.

Click here to download.
Beauty salon reopening checklist This checklist is a quick guide to support beauty salons reopening during Covid-19.

Click here to download.
Shops and branches
Working safely during Covid-19Guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.

Click here to download.
Retail reopening checklist This retailer pack is a quick guide to support shops and branches reopening during Covid-19.

Click here to download.
Licensed premises
Licensed premises reopening checklist This checklist is a quick guide to support licensed premises reopening during Covid-19.

Click here to download.
Restaurants, pubs & barsSafe working: guidance for food preparation or service setting where food and drink is sold for consumption at venues or for takeaway or delivery.

Click here to download.
Food businesses
Food safety for businessesGuidance for food businesses on Covid-19.

Click here to download.
Food safety advice for the consumerGuidance for consumers on Covid-19 and food.

Click here to download.
Food safety advice for community cooking and food banks Click here to download.
Food delivery and takeawayGuidance on food safety for food delivery and takeaway.

Click here to download.
Food shopping A quick guide to safe shopping.

Click here to download.
Guidance for food businesses undertaking a rapid shut-down during Covid-19 Click here to download.
Keeping workers and customers safe during Covid-19 in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway servicesCovid-19 secure guidance for employers, employees and the self-employed.

Click here to download.
Advice for food manufacturersGood practice advice for food manufacturers.

Click here to download.
Soft play areas
Soft play areas NI guidance for soft play areas.

Click here to download.
Health and safety resources
Covid-19 workplace example risk assessment HSENI example workplace risk assessment.

Click here to download.
Workplace safety guidelines and social distancingWorkplace guidelines and measures to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.

Click here to download.
Health and safety in the workplace Health and safety advice and guidance for places of work.

Click here to download.
Safety in the workplace Click here to download.
Legionella guidance Click here to download guidance on buildings reopening.
Covid-19 signage for businessesLimiting the number of customers entering the shop.

Maintaining 2m distance when queuing outside and in the shop.

Keep a distance of 2m at all times.
Covid-19: frequently asked health and safety questionsClick here to download.
Additional helpful links
Public Health Agency Public Health Agency.
NI Direct Covid-19 NI Direct Covid-19
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021Covid-19 Legislation
Posters to download, print and display from the Public Health AgencySocial distancing poster.

Hand washing poster

Catch it, bin it, kill it poster.

Isolation poster.

What is a pavement café licence?

A pavement café licence authorises a person who operates a business supplying food or drink (in or from premises) to temporarily place furniture on a public area, for use by customers. This includes cafés, restaurants, pubs, retail outlets providing refreshments, takeaways and supermarkets with a deli counter.

What is the process for pavement café licence applications?

The Environmental Health Department issues licences for pavement cafés in the Borough. We have introduced a temporary process for licence applications to help businesses during COVID-19 pandemic recovery. Business operators must ensure they are familiar with government legislation and coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance. They must adhere to all requirements relevant to their workplace including carrying out a COVID-19 risk assessment and apply ‘social distancing’ measures and mitigations.

 

What is the pavement café licence fee?

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), Council has waived application fees for temporary pavement café licences.  This will apply during the period of COVID-19 pandemic recovery until 31 December 2021.

How do I make an application for a pavement café?

Before submitting an application, please contact Council to check if your proposal will meet all the criteria.  Please email or telephone the Environmental Health Department on 0300 0300 900.

Download Pavement Cafe Licensing Guidance for Applicants (during COVID-19 pandemic recovery)

The Guidance Document for Applicants (during COVID-19 pandemic recovery) offers advice on what Council are required to consider appropriate for a pavement café licence including:

  • pedestrian and vehicular access
  • size and layout
  • likely disturbance to other businesses or residents
  • furniture design
  • safety issues

A licence application form is contained in the Guidance or to request an application form and guidance information, you can contact us by email: . We can also send you the application form and guidance by post.

 

What documents are required to support my licence application?

Site location map
Proposed cafe plan
Details of the proposed furniture
Public liability insurance
Liquor Licence (premises licensed under The Licensing (NI) Order 1996)
Management Control Plan (where appropriate)

What is the Public Notice?

The Guidance for Applicants contains a draft public notice. The notice must be affixed on the premises, so the public can see it for 28 days. Interested parties can make representations to Council about your licence application.

Council will publish licence applications on our web site until the end of the period allowed for representations.

What other organisations are consulted?

Council recommends that applicants discuss their proposals with adjacent property occupiers to inform them of the pavement café application.

When assessing your application Council will also consult:

  • DfI Roads
  • Police Service for Northern Ireland where the premises are licensed to sell alcohol
  • other council departments, organisations or individuals as appropriate

 

What are the timescales in the process?

The Council aims to provide you with a determination within 5 weeks from the date of receipt of a completed application.  Council will consult with DfI Roads and, in most cases, the Police Service of Northern Ireland when considering pavement café licensing applications. Council must also give other interested parties an opportunity to express their views before a final decision.

When a licence is granted Council will issue formal confirmation and a temporary pavement café licence will be granted until 31 December 2021.  The licence will have standard conditions and additional specific conditions may be added.

SupportFurther information
The temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors will be extended to 30 September 2021 . This aims to give businesses in the sector – which has been severely impacted by the pandemic – the confidence to maintain staff as they adapt to a new trading environment.Click here for more information.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has resumed accepting small and medium project funding applications and launched an interest free loans pilot. Click here for more information.
Tourism Northern Ireland and Department for the Economy have issued guidance for safe working during Covid-19 for the visitor economy, hotels, accommodation, restaurants, pubs and restaurants.Click here for more information.
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Tourism Forum will enable you to share ideas, useful information and find out more relevant information.Join now by emailing
Businesses operating within the visitor economy including accommodation, visitor attractions, restaurants and pubs, business conference and events venues and tour and coach operators are currently eligible to apply for the ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard. Once successfully registered, businesses will then receive a certificate and the ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark for display in their premises and online.Click here for more information.
The Business Support & Innovation Centre is offering the Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Sector a range of funded programmes. Up to 60 hours of mentoring support available from industry experts through InnovateUs and Invest NI Innovation Voucher Programmes.Click here for more information.
Further support and adviceTourism NI
NI Tourism Alliance
Hospitality Ulster
Northern Ireland Hotels Federation
Federation of Small Businesses

Employment and Skills

With the unprecedented economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, we understand many local businesses will have to make some very difficult decisions as they try to move forward. This may include unavoidable redundancies over the coming period. A strong economy relies on a skilled, flexible, healthy and motivated workforce and we are committed to providing both employers and the local workforce with the necessary support and guidance to create a strong and resilient borough.

Redundancy fact sheets

For up-to-date support on a wide range of employment and skills issues including redundancy, restructures and change please go to: www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/employment-and-skills

Redundancy fact sheet