You own a business that has been forced to shut down entirely or has seen a sharp drop in business activity as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. In either case you will need to take full advantage of the supports that the Irish government provides.
The supports include:
- A Business Continuity Voucher from the Local Enterprise Office (LEO). The voucher is designed for businesses across every sector that employ up to 50 people. It is worth up to €2,500 when a business incurs 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.
- A Lean Business Improvement Voucher from Enterprise Ireland or Údarás na Gaeltachta. The voucher is available to eligible companies to access up to €2,500 in training or advisory services support related to the continued operation of their businesses during the current pandemic.
- A COVID-19 Business Financial Planning Grant from Enterprise Ireland.The grant is worth up to €5,000 and is designed to help companies develop a robust financial plan, including the preparation of documentation required to support applications for external finance from banks and/or other finance providers.
- A Trading Online Voucher from the Local Enterprise Office (LEO). The voucher is designed to assist small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade more online, boost sales and reach new markets. The voucher offers financial assistance of up to €2,500, with co-funding of 10% from the business, along with training and advice to help the business trade online. Businesses that have already received a Trading Online Voucher can now apply for a second voucher, where upgrades are required.
- A COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme from Enterprise Ireland. The objective of the Scheme is to support indigenous retailers with over 10 employees and who have a pre-existing online presence to respond to both the domestic and international consumer demand for a competitive online offer. Successful applicants will be awarded funding to support a maximum of 80% of the project costs and the funding will range from €10,000 to €40,000 per business.
- The COVID-19 Business Loan. Microfinance Ireland provides loans of up to €50,000 to micro-enterprises that are negatively impacted by COVID-19. The terms include a six months interest-free and repayment-free moratorium, leaving the loan to be repaid over the remaining 30 months of the 36-month loan period. Certain eligibility criteria apply.
- The Sustaining Enterprise Fund from Enterprise Ireland. The purpose of the fund is to sustain companies who have been impacted by a 15% or greater reduction in actual or projected turnover or profit, and/or have a significant increase in costs as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. The fund provides repayable advances of up to €800,000 to eligible businesses that operate in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors and have at least 10 employees.
- The COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme from SBCI. The scheme supports loans from €25,000 up to €1.5 million (first €500,000 unsecured) for eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19. It charges a maximum interest rate of 4%. Certain eligibility criteria apply.
- The Credit Guarantee Scheme. This is available to help SMEs impacted by COVID-19 related issues. The scheme supports loans of up to €1 million for periods of up to 7 years. Applications can be made to AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank. Certain eligibility criteria apply.
- The Future Growth Loan Scheme from the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI). The scheme supports loans from €100,000 up to €3 million (first €500,000 unsecured) for eligible businesses impacted by Covid-19 to support strategic long-term investment. Certain eligibility criteria apply.
- Commercial Rates Deferral: The government has agreed rates support for businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Feel free to ring Shane Carroll, Director of Business Advisory, on 021 4321321 or to email him at email@example.com if you’d like to query or discuss how best to use any of the government supports.
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