Hundreds of Laois firms share over €1 million in Covid-19 reboot grants

County councillor urges more firms to apply

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

coronavirus covid-19

Cllr Conor Bergin

Businesses in Laois have been urged to apply for funding which has so far delivered more than €1 million to more than 400 companies around the county.

Cllr Conor Bergin, Leas Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, called on local micro and small businesses in Laois to apply for the Restart Grant from Laois County Council which is designed to help with reopening costs and re-employing workers after the COVID-19 closure.

"I would strongly encourage any micro or small businesses in Co Laois who had to close during the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for the Restart Grant from Laois County Council, if they have not already done so. The grant is a minimum payment of €2,000 and a maximum payment of €10,000, based on the rates bill of the business in 2019.

"To date, 497 applications have been received under the Restart Grant which is being paid by Laois County Council. 404 applications have been approved and paid with a value of €1,349,531 and the remaining applications are currently being processed.

“Furthermore, the announcement yesterday of the July Jobs Stimulus Package by the Government has expanded the restart grant to benefit a wider range of businesses. The payment level is being increased to €25,000. Further payments may be available to those firms which have already received them. Other businesses, such as B&Bs, not previously included in the scheme, will now be eligible.”

"With some limited exceptions, all businesses have been granted a waiver of commercial rates until the end of September 2020," he said.

Applications can be made on the Laois County Council website and the closing date for applications is August 31, 2020.

Cllr Bergin is also Chairperson of the Council’s Enterprise, Economic Development and Tourism Strategic Policy Committee.

"I am delighted to see that many Laois businesses are back up and running after closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that these businesses have reopened safely with social distancing measures in place, I believe that we all need to pull together and shop local to support jobs in County Laois.’’

Cllr Conor Bergin is Fine Gael County councillor in the Borris-In-Ossory/Mountmellick Municipal District area.

More about the Re-Start scheme

Subject to the qualifying criteria below, any business that has a commercially rateable premise, or where rates are paid on your behalf and attributable to the business premises you occupy, can apply.  Multiple chain stores, i.e. a business that is a non-financially independent branch of a group of chain stores which is owned and managed by a single entity, are not eligible.  Non-commercial organisations such as community and sporting premises (including charity shops and community and sporting premises with a bar) are not eligible.  Businesses that do not operate from commercially rateable premises (tradesmen, service providers, etc) are not eligible.  Premises that were vacant prior to the Covid-19 emergency are not eligible for the grant.

On average, approval can issue within one week.  This depends on the initial volume of applications. 

The grant will be calculated in relation to the amount of your rates  due in respect of calendar year 2019 only, subject to a minimum of €2,000 and a maximum of €10,000.  In the event that your rates demand was reduced on appeal, the appeal rate will apply to an amount of the grant if the grant is over €2,000.