New support scheme for the newly self-employed

The Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme (NSESS), with a budget of £10 million, will open for applications at 6pm today (Thursday 3 December).

Minister Diane Dodds welcomed the launch of the scheme: “I am pleased to be able to announce this new support scheme which will help thousands more businesses in need across Northern Ireland. It will provide financial support to newly self-employed individuals (sole traders and those in partnerships) whose business is adversely impacted by Covid and who have not been able to access support from the UK government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.”

Those who are eligible will receive a one-off, taxable grant of £3,500 and it is anticipated that approximately 2,900 newly self-employed individuals in Northern Ireland will be eligible.

Newly self-employed means those who commenced trading as self-employed between 6 April 2019 and 5 April 2020, and who have been adversely impacted by Covid-19. Additionally, trading profits for 2019/20 must be below £50,000, and over 50% of income must have come from self-employment.

The scheme will close to applications at 6pm on 7 January 2021.

This scheme may benefit more recently established self-employed childminders.

It is important to note that, as a taxable grant, this payment may impact on Universal Credit and Tax Credit entitlement.

Find out more

Further information is available here

We would encourage anyone wishing to find out what financial support they may be entitled to, to contact our Family Benefits Advice Service for free, impartial and confidential advice on 028 9267 8200 or email