€12m Bailout For Enterprise Centres

12 Aug 2020 | 03.10 pm

€12m Bailout For Enterprise Centres

One third of tenants have ceased trading

12 Aug 2020 | 03.10 pm

The government has pledged €12m to bail out private and non-profit Enterprise Centres whose activities have been impacted by the Covid lockdown.

Enterprise Centres are operated both as not-for-profit and for-profit entities, and state agency Enterprise Ireland has invested over €160m in not-for-profit Enterprise Centres under several schemes.

Three-quarters of the bailout funding will go toward these state-funded centres.

According to the National Association of Community Enterprise Centres, 87% of member centres have reported a drop in income of 20% to 80%. In addition, one in three tenants in member centres have closed permanently.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, said: “Without financial support many of these centres will not be in a position to support companies rebuild and recover after the impact of Covid-19, or to face the challenges and opportunities emerging from Brexit and transition to a low carbon economy.”

She added that the objective of the Powering the Regions – Enterprise Centres Fund is to provide eligible enterprise centres with financial support for the implementation of a 6 to 12 month Recovery Plan.

Eligible enterprise centres can apply for funding of a minimum amount of €10,000 and up to a maximum amount of €150,000. Funding will be administered in the form of grant aid of up to 80 per cent of eligible costs detailed in the Recovery Plan.

Applicants for funding will need to demonstrate the ability to finance the balance of funding required to implement the Recovery Plan.

Download Enterprise Centres National Impact & Recovery Plan

Enterprise minister Leo Varadkar stated: “We are determined to do everything we can to assist businesses during this difficult time. Enterprise Centres support over 2,000 companies and thousands of jobs in every region in the country. They provide space, training, finance and advice to entrepreneurs and their services will be especially important over the coming months.”

Full details of the support scheme are available here.

Photo: Julie Sinnamon and Leo Varadkar (centre) with Michael Culligan, CEO of Dublin Business Innovation Centre. (Pix: Maxwells)

 

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