The Irish Government released the “Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society & Business”, which sets out a five stage plan to ease the Covid-19 restrictions and reopen Ireland’s economy and society. Check the Overview of the Reopening Phases starting on 18/05 (including travel, transport and cultural activities).
Besides, the Irish Government has been deploying a suite of measures to further support small, medium and larger business that are negatively impacted by Covid-19.
Highlight of the Irish Government the measures
€250m Restart Grant for Small Businesses (approved on 15/05), which will give direct grant aid to micro and small businesses with a turnover of less than €5m and employing 50 people or less, which were closed or impacted by at least a 25% reduction in turnover out to 30th June 2020: The grants will be equivalent to the rates bill of the business in 2019, with a minimum payment of €2,000 and a maximum payment of €10,000. This direct grant support is part of the wider €12bn package of supports for firms of all sizes, which includes grants, low-cost loans, write-off of commercial rates and deferred tax liabilities, all of which will help to improve cashflow amongst our SMEs.
COVID 19 Business Loan from Microfinance Ireland (MFI), in association with the Local Enterprise Office, is a government funded initiative to support micro-small enterprise impacted or may be impacted negatively by COVID-19 resulting in a reduction of 15% or more in turnover or profit, AND having difficulty in accessing Bank finance. Through this MFI COVID-19 Business Loan, loans up to €50,000 are available with a reduced interest fee of 4.5% as opposed to 5.5% available.
COVID–19 Working Capital Loan available from SBCI. This is for eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19. Loans from €25,000 up to €1.5m will be available at reduced rates (max 4%), with up to the first €500,000 unsecured.
Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme: for employers who can show that they have lost at least 25 percent of their trade - will be able to claim 70 percent of your employees net wage back (up to a maximum of €410) through the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme
Business Continuity Voucher: is available through the Local Enterprise Office, is designed for businesses across every sector that employ up to 50 people. The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The goal is to help companies make informed decisions about what immediate measures and remedial actions should be taken, to protect staff and sales.
PROTECTION OF WORKERS
The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a payment of €350 per week. It is available to employees and the self-employed who have lost their job on (or after) March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be in place until at least 8 June.
A number of income supports are available from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection employees during a COVID-19 related absence or temporary lay-off from work: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information for Employers and Employees
- workers who are not diagnosed with COVID-19 but who self-isolate
- workers whose employers do not supplement/top-up the State Illness Benefit payment (COVID-19)
- workers who are requested to stay at home by their employer (COVID-19)
- workers who need to take time off work to care for a person affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Expert Mentoring: Free online/telephone mentoring is available to any business seeking assistance in addressing COVID -19 issues including developing their cash flow projections, managing cashflow, drafting loan applications, HR advice, Risk Assessment, etc and developing short action plans to address the identified actions.
Trading Online Voucher Scheme: has been updated from 8th April to offer more assistance for businesses looking to build an online presence. 90% Financial assistance up to €2500 is available to small businesses that have been trading for more than 6 months with less than 10 employees. Participation in the Trading Online Workshop is compulsory for approval for this scheme.