Ireland’s Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar has announced €160m for measures to help businesses during the pandemic.
A new €60m scheme, called the Covid-19 Business Aid Scheme (CBAS) is being developed to provide grants to businesses ineligible for the government’s other existing schemes designed to help with fixed costs. Wholesalers, suppliers, caterers and events companies down 75% or more in turnover are said to be able to benefit.
The government also approved an additional €90m for the Sustaining Enterprise Fund, which offers funding of up to €800,000, with €200,000 or 50% in non-repayable grants to eligible manufacturing and internationally traded services companies.
Plus an additional €10m will be allocated to the Covid-19 Products Scheme to help in the fight against the virus. Firms researching or manufacturing PPE, sanitisers, tests, equipment or other medicinal products which are relevant to Covid-19 are eligible for funding of up to 50% of their capital costs.
Varadkar: “The government agreed to do more to help businesses respond to the economic challenges arising from the pandemic with a particular focus on firms that do not qualify for the weekly CRSS grant from the Revenue Commissioners or existing sectoral schemes in areas like the arts, transport and tourism.
“The government has sought to help as many businesses as possible through wage subsidies and the many different grant and loan schemes we have put in place. A new scheme, the CBAS, will help some businesses that aren’t eligible for existing grants, largely due to the fact that the premises they operate from have not been closed to the public. We estimate that this will help approximately 7,500 businesses.
“While the grant is modest it will be of substantial assistance to smaller businesses with some of their fixed costs like rent, utilities and security. For example, wholesalers, suppliers, caterers, office-based businesses and events companies down 75% or more in turnover will qualify. We are finalising the details and it will be open for applications shortly.
“We’ve seen huge demand for the Sustaining Enterprise Fund, which is there to support our manufacturers and exporters which have experienced a drop in orders. The scheme has protected 22,000 jobs all across the country to date and we hope this €90m will secure many more.”
Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said: “I’m delighted to welcome the additional €100m in funding approved by Government. The additional €90m for the Sustaining Enterprise Fund will provide much needed liquidity to help the sustainment and recovery of companies who have been impacted by Covid-19. Furthermore, the additional €10m approved for the Covid-19 Products Scheme will enable innovative companies across Ireland to make the necessary investments to develop new products in response to Covid-19.”