Laois business in Covid-19 lockdown urged to apply for €250 million scheme to reboot operations

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

coronavirus covid-19

Covid-19 Restart Scheme aimed at helping small business to reboot

Small business in Laois and Offaly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic have been urged to tap into the new €250 million fund to help them reboot operations.

Laois/Offaly TD and Minister for Justice & Equality, Charlie Flanagan, is encouraging micro-enterprises to apply for the Government’s new Restart Grant.

The application form for the Government’s new €250 million Restart Grant is now available on the on both Laois County Council & Offaly County Council websites The grants available range between €2,000 and €10,000 and can be used to help with the costs associated with reopening and re-employing workers following COVID-19 closures.

The grant is available to eligible businesses who have stayed open throughout the crisis, as well as those who are reopening under Phase 1 (from 18 May) and Phase 2 (8 June) of the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.

Minister Flanagan urged businesses that have had to freeze operations to apply.

"This scheme will provide much needed direct grant aid to micro and small businesses in the constituency to help them get going again as the country re-opens.

“I applaud all the small businesses who have kept going in some way throughout the pandemic, and I want to reassure those who have had to close that we are doing everything to support them to reopen. Small businesses are the lifeblood of the local economy across Laois & Offaly and they will be crucial to Ireland’s economic recovery.

“This grant support is part of a wider package of supports for firms of all sizes worth a total of €12 billion nationally. These include the Wage Subsidy Scheme, grants, low-cost loans, write-off of commercial rates and deferred tax liabilities, all of which will help to improve cashflow amongst our SMEs and have helped to keep many going throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Applications must be made by August 31. Any further queries about the application you can contact the Business Support Unit in the Council. LAOIS HERE

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has also established a Business Support Call Centre for information on the supports available to businesses and enterprises affected by COVID-19. It can be reached  at infobusinesssupport@dbei.gov. ie or (01) 631 2002. 

FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE RESTART GRANTS

To avail of the Restart Grant, applicants must be a commercial business and be in the Local Authorities Commercial Rates Payment System and:  

1.            have an annual turnover of less than €5m and employ between 1 to 50 people;

2.            have suffered a projected 25%+ loss in turnover to end June 2020;  

3.            commit to remain open or to reopen if it was closed;

4.            declare the intention to retain employees that are on The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and re-employ staff on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment as business recovers.

The grant will be equivalent to the rates bill of the business in 2019, or a minimum payment of €2,000, whichever is the higher, and will be subject to a maximum payment of €10,000.

If a company is currently in a rateable premise but was not rate-assessed in 2019 it is still eligible to apply. The local authority can pay the grant based on an estimate of what the rates demand for 2019 would have been.