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This has been 'worst event to hit us in 50 years, even after two recessions,' says NI business owner

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Tilt-A-Dor in Newtownards

Tilt-A-Dor in Newtownards

Stephen Kelly, head of Manufacturing NI

Stephen Kelly, head of Manufacturing NI

Darren Craig of A Line Bedding

Darren Craig of A Line Bedding

Some of Off the Wall's work

Some of Off the Wall's work

Some of Off the Wall's work

Some of Off the Wall's work

Patrick McGowan of Off the Wall Creative with staff members

Patrick McGowan of Off the Wall Creative with staff members

Tilt-A-Dor in Newtownards

For owners of small manufacturing firms like Patrick McGowan of Off the Wall Creative, Government grant announcements since lockdown have been like a drip-feed of hope.

Mr McGowan, who is from Omagh, has said he has hoped that with each announcement, his business will finally be able to qualify for aid.

There are two main grants available from the Department for the Economy here: a £10,000 grant which applies to all small businesses which qualify for small business rate relief, which was then extended to firms qualifying for industrial derating. A separate £25,000 grant applies to firms in retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism. Tomorrow is the deadline to apply for boths.