Business

Branch closures a 'hammer blow' to city centres, says Sinéad McLaughlin, following news that Strand Road and half of BoI branches will close
Some companies are fleecing hard-pressed suppliers by forcing them to sell product stocks at cut prices or at a loss, says Sinead McLaughlin
SDLP calls on banks to account to Dept of Economy on how much they are lending to businesses to protect jobs as the virus crisis continues
Small firms renting space have difficulty accessing Business Support Grants - but new system is coming online, says Sinead McLaughlin MLA
Workplaces should be inspected to ensure social distancing is happening and employees are not at unnecessary risk, says Mark H Durkan MLA
Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Cathy Harrison has advised community pharmacies to open as usual, but observe guidance on social distancing
Latest info on Job Retention Scheme here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
New portal will enable businesses to register bank details in order to receive grant payments into their bank account, says Diane Dodds
While social distancing is impossible in a taxi, taxis could be employed delivering medication and food, says Martina Anderson
Click image for full list of essential businesses that can continue to trade, and a list of non-essential businesses that must close
Good support for businesses but self employed - taxi drivers, sole traders, micro-businesses - have only statutory sick pay, says Eastwood

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A man has died following crash on Glenhead Road outside Limavady after 4pm - he was riding a blue Kawasaki motorcycle and died at the scene
With 22% of NI children living in poverty, SDLP's Angela Dobbins welcomes calls to finally establish a Child Poverty Task Force
School Milk scheme will continue for at least 2 years - 200,000 pupils in 800 schools drink 1m litres of subsidised milk each year in NI
Council launches survey of older people to ask how it can promote age friendliness and improve their quality of life
Santa opened two new state of the art classrooms at Culmore PS as the school gears up to accept digital applications from January 7