Direct grant aid of between €2,000 minimum and €10,000 based on commercial rates bill from 2019.
Scheme applies to small businesses with a turnover of under €5m and employing 50 people or less.
Scheme opens for applications on Friday 22 May through the Local Authorities.
The Government today agreed details of the new €250m Restart Grant, which will give direct grant aid to micro and small businesses to help them with the costs associated with reopening and reemploying workers following COVID-19 closures.
The Grant will be available to 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. It is a contribution towards the cost of re-opening or keeping a business operational and re-connecting with employees and customers.
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.
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, said:
I am acutely aware of the difficulties facing small businesses during these challenging times.
The Restart Grant is designed to help small businesses get back on their feet. The grant can be used to defray ongoing fixed costs, for replenishing stock and for measures needed to ensure employee and customer safety.
Small businesses, whether it the local hairdresser, café or clothes shop, are absolutely vital to the social fabric of our towns and villages throughout the country. These businesses have made huge sacrifices to protect their employees and customers during COVID-19 and we want to help them get back up and running so that they can return to viability and contribute to the national economic recovery.
These are small grants but they can make a big difference in terms of giving businesses an extra helping hand to open their doors again.
Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, said:
I welcome the announcement today in relation to the establishment of the Restart Grant. In response to the very significant economic challenges posed by Covid-19, the Government has moved swiftly to introduce a range of measures to support enterprises of all sizes. These measures have included supports for wage costs, liquidity supports and the deferral or waiver of payments.
The Restart Grant, in addition to the other supports which enterprises can access, will support micro and small enterprises, helping them to reconnect with the market and assist them in getting their businesses back up and trading. The Grant will act as further assistance in defraying ongoing fixed costs and meeting costs associated with businesses reopening. In doing so it will support activity and employment across the country.
Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TD, said
I very much welcome the Restart Fund and in particular, the important role that local authorities, who have direct links to small and micro enterprises through their Local Enterprise Offices, will play in the administration of the Fund. This support, when linked with other supports put in place, including the 3 month waiver of commercial rates for businesses forced to close, will help small and micro enterprises re-starting their operations and contribute to maintaining employment and economic activity.
Applications for the Restart Grant can be made online to local authorities from Friday 22nd May.
Processing of applications and payment of the Restart Grant will depend on the initial surge of applications but, as far as is feasible, will be prioritised according to scheduled re-opening dates in the national Roadmap.
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.
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 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be in place until at least 8 June.
You can apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment if you:
The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) was introduced on 26 March 2020, for a period of 12 weeks, to provide support to employers who would otherwise have been forced to lay off employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary aim of the TWSS is to maintain employees’ jobs for the period of lockdown so that when businesses resume normal operations they will be able to restart commercial activity as quickly as possible.
Updates to the TWSS
The TWSS was drafted in haste and anomalies became apparent in its practical application by employers. Minister Donohoe announced changes on Wednesday 15 April to how the TWSS will be applied in light of these anomalies and to implement the previously flagged “Phase 2” of the TWSS. Phase 2 will now commence from 4 May 2020 (rather than 20 April as previously published).
The changes that employers should be aware of include:
The tiered system will now also apply to employees whose previous net pay was more than €960 per week but who have now had their pay reduced to below that amount as consequence of the pandemic.
The above rates apply from May 4th and will not be backdated. There is no change to the qualification criteria for employers.
Although these changes were announced in an effort to resolve anomalies in the original TWSS structure, there are still many questions relating to how these changes will operate in practice. Revenue have advised that further guidance will be published shortly, which will hopefully provide clarification.
These changes ensure that more employees are eligible for the TWSS and they provide a welcome increase to the subsidy for employees who had a previous average net pay of less than €412 per week.
However, outstanding queries remain on certain aspects of the changes, and clarity from the Revenue Commissioners is eagerly awaited, which we will let you know about once it is published.
You can read detailed guidelines on the scheme here
The government on Saturday 2nd May agreed, at a special Cabinet meeting, a suite of measures to further support small, medium and larger business that are negatively impacted by COVID-19.
Those measures are:
The further measures to support businesses impacted by COVID-19 in their planning for reopening include:
In addition, the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland announced an extension of payment breaks for businesses and households to 6 months for those requiring assistance which is being provided to bank and non-bank customers impacted by COVID-19.
It is essential that customers fully engage with their lender to avail of these extensions.