GOVERNMENT CAPITAL SUPPORT SCHEMES
Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS)
The Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) gives qualifying businesses a cash payment of up to €5,000 a week. The scheme applies when Level 3 or higher restrictions are in place in line with the Plan for Living with Covid-19.
The scheme extended 31 December 2021.
The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme
Under the EWSS scheme, employers and new firms in sectors impacted by COVID-19 whose turnover has fallen 30% get a flat-rate subsidy per week based on the number of qualifying employees on the payroll, including seasonal staff and new employees.
The EWSS replaced the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme on the 1 September 2020.
If an employee has more than one job, each employer can make a claim under the EWSS, ignoring any other employments the employee may have.
The scheme is currently planned to run until 31st Dec 2021.
Short-time Work Support
Short-time Work Support is available under Job Seeker’s Benefit and is an income support payment for employees who have been temporarily placed on a shorter working week, due to business challenges affecting their employment. More details here.
Business Resumption Support Scheme
A new Business Resumption Support Scheme (BRSS) will support vulnerable but viable business. The BRSS is a single payment based on a percentage of your average weekly turnover for 2019, up to a maximum payment of €15,000.
You will be eligible if your turnover is reduced by 75% in the reference period (1 September 2020 to 31 August 2021) compared with 2019.
The BRSS will be administered by Revenue and will operate in a similar way to CRSS. You can apply to Revenue between 1 September 2021 and 30 November 2021. Revenue has detailed guidelines on the operation of the BRSS (pdf).
The Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP)
The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is available to employees and the self-employed who have lost their job on or after 13 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will now be accepted until the 30 June 2021.
Full details on eligibility and application process are available online here.
Restart Grant Plus
Direct grant aid of between €4,000 minimum and €25,000 based on commercial rates bill from 2019.
Scheme applies to small businesses with a turnover of under €100k and employing 250 people or less.
To view the additions to the restart grant plus for bars and nightclubs – click here
Enterprise Support Grant
The Enterprise Support Grant will be made available to assist self-employed recipients who are exiting the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) scheme. This will provide owners with a once-off grant of up to €1,000 to re-start their business. A fund of €12m has been allocated for the extension of this grant.
The grant will be payable to self-employed micro enterprises which employ fewer than 10 people, have an annual turnover of less than €1 million and are not eligible for support from the COVID 19 Business Restart Grant or other similar business reopening grants. Read more.
FINANCIAL SUPPORTS & LOANS
Covid-10 Business Loans up to €25,000 are available through Microfinance Ireland (MFI). There are no repayments for the first 6 months and the equivalent 12 months interest-free subject to certain terms and conditions. The loan terms are typically up to 3 years and there are no fees or charges.
The loan is open to sole traders, partnerships and limited companies with less than 10 full-time employees and annual turnover of up to €2m. Loans from €5,000 to €25,000 are available, via Microfinance Ireland (MFI).
Loans from €25,000 to €1.5 million under the Working Capital Loan Scheme, operated by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI). Loans are available to viable micro enterprises, SMEs and enterprises with up to 500 employees.
Longer term loans from €100,000 to €3,000,000 for SME’s under the Future Growth Loan Scheme also operated through the SBCI. The loans have a maximum interest rate of 4.5% and the first €500,000 borrowed can be unsecured.
Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme
The Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme provides loans from €10,000 and €1 million for terms up to five and a half years. The size of the loan is linked to business turnover (25% of 2019 turnover) or wage costs (double annual wage bill in 2019).
The scheme is currently scheduled to remain in place until 31 December 2021.
Future Growth Loan Scheme
The Future Growth Loan Scheme is available to SME and Small Mid-Cap Businesses. Loans are available from €25,000 up to €3,000,000 for terms of between 7 and 10 years. The loans have a maximum interest rate of 4.5% and the first €500,000 borrowed can be unsecured.
Trading Online Voucher
Under the Government’s National Digital Strategy, the expanded Trading Online Voucher Scheme helps small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade more online, boost sales and reach new markets. There is up to €2,500 available through the Local Enterprise Offices with co-funding of 10% from the business.
Training and further business supports are also provided by Local Enterprise Offices,and businesses that have already received a Trading Online Voucher can now apply for a second voucher, where upgrades are required.
Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund (PRSF)
The Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund (PRSF) is a €2 billion fund to support medium and large enterprise, made available through the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF). It is targeted at enterprises employing more than 250 employees or with an annual turnover in excess of €50 million. Investment in enterprises below these levels may be considered if they are assessed to be of substantial scale and of significant importance at national or regional level.
Tourism Business Continuity Scheme
On the 1st February 2021, Fáilte Ireland announced details of its new €55 million Tourism Business Continuity Scheme. The scheme will support those tourism businesses that were not eligible for the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) payment or previous Fáilte Ireland continuity grant schemes. It is designed to help these tourism businesses offset their fixed costs incurred last year and support them to continue operating through 2021.
The fund replaced Fáilte Ireland’s Covid-19 Adaptation Fund which closed to new applicants on 24th December 2020. Phase 2 of the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme is due to be launched in March 2021.
BUSINESS GUIDES & HR RESOURCES
Guide for Businesses May 12, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation click here
Sustainable Cork Programme May 08 Read more
Waiver on commercial rates, warehousing of tax liabilities and grant schemes May 02 – click here.
Roadmap for Reopening Society & Business – May 01 click here.
NSAI. Check their website here for tools tailored to your business sector.
The Government has announced that the rate of Illness Benefit has further increased from €305 to €350 per week, and recipients will not have to wait 6 days before applying for the benefit.
The enhanced Illness Benefit will be paid for a maximum of 2 weeks where an individual must self isolate, and for a maximum of 10 weeks if an individual is diagnosed with COVID-19,
Pandemic Unemployment Payment
The Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment has been extended to August 10th. This payment was increased to €350 per week as of March 27th and is available to all individuals who are temporarily fully unemployed, including the self-employed.
The quickest and easiest way to apply for (or close) the Covid-19 unemployment payment is via MyWelfare.ie.
Due to the current situation employees with dependants who are accessing the Covid 19 Emergency Payment are also advised to make a Job Seeker application at this time. Download form here.
Employers with queries can email the Cork branch here.
DBEI. The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation have set up a Business Support Call Centre to give you more information on supports available: 01 631 2002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Revenue. Revenue has announced measures for SMEs experiencing cashflow difficulties: Click here
Insurance. Review your insurance policy to find out if your policy includes cover for an interruption in your business, or a temporary business closure, caused by COVID-19.
Your local bank. The primary pillar banks announced that they will support businesses experiencing difficulties.
CORK CHAMBER ADVOCACY
At Cork Chamber we are working daily with Government and continue to represent your voice, lobbying on your behalf. Below is some commentary on relevant items of business. #CorkTogether
June 08th – Online Trading a Lifeline for Business
April 30th – Sustainable Recovery Vision
April 30th – Business Community Survey
April 17th – Letter from Department of An Taoiseach
April 16th – Response letter from Dept Finance on Insurance
April 15th – Letter to European Commissioners – from EuroChambres
April 02nd – Audio – Cashflow the No.1 Issue for Business
March 24th – Full Survey Results
March 20th – Audio – Conor Healy on Deferral of Commercial Rates
March 20th – Assessment of Commercial Rates Deferral
March 17th – Audio – Conor Healy comment on business impacts
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