21 Sep 2020 | 09.00 am
Enterprise Ireland Business Response Supports
Range of supports from July jobs stimulus available to SMEs
21 Sep 2020 | 09.00 am
Enterprise Ireland is responding to the current global crisis by working with Irish businesses to help them avail of Covid-19 response supports. The supports are designed to help businesses recover from the impact of Covid-19 and continue to grow their business, increase sales and create jobs.
Just how much our world has changed is evident from the recently released Enterprise Ireland Annual Business Review for 2019. Last year was a record-breaking year for Enterprise Ireland client companies. These companies exported more than €25bn worth of goods and services during the year. Our exports to the Eurozone and North America, in particular, continued on a strong upward trajectory – a very important trend with the Brexit deadline looming.
However, the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic has upturned our world. Enterprise Ireland has revised our strategy and our support system for Irish business to respond to this new reality.
At the outset of the crisis Enterprise Ireland established our Business Response Hub. Since its launch more than 5,600 businesses have engaged with the Hub, receiving information on Enterprise Ireland supports and other initiatives provided by the Government and other agencies during the Covid-19 crisis.
Sustaining Enterprise Fund
Access to liquidity is critical during a crisis such as this. Enterprise Ireland has an innovative support available under its Sustaining Enterprise Fund. Depending on the size of a company up to €800,000 is available. Recently the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar T.D., announced that 50% of funding provided, up to a maximum of €200,000 is available on a non-repayable basis. So, for example, if your company is approved for €400,000 then €200,000 is provided on a non-repayable basis.
To assist companies assess their financial position a €5,000 grant to engage a financial consultant to assist in developing a robust financial plan is also available. There is strong uptake for this measure, called the Business Financial Planning Grant, and it is giving clarity to many companies during these turbulent times.
We are also offering companies a €2,500 Lean Business Continuity Voucher, which is designed to provide consultancy advice or training for management on sustaining business processes during the pandemic.
Online Retail Scheme
The above schemes are designed, in the main, for Enterprise Ireland clients. However, we are also assisting the wider government strategy to assist local businesses. For example, Enterprise Ireland is administering the Online Retail Scheme. The purpose of this fund is to enable Irish-owned retailers to enhance their digital capability, drive online sales and grow their customer base.
In July €6.5m was allocated to 185 retailers across the country under this scheme. Applications for a new round of funding are currently open, with an overall budget of €5.5m. Our colleagues in the Local Enterprise Offices are also busy in the online area and their Trading Online Vouchers are assisting smaller companies, with up to ten employees, make the transition to digital selling.
These direct supports are providing tangible, timely assistance to Irish businesses. The July Jobs Stimulus package also included important new measures such as the Green Enterprise Fund, additional funds for Seed and VC investment, a dedicated support to assist companies meet the customs challenge posed by Brexit and a fund to promote the innovation of products and services designed to assist in the battle against Covid-19.
2020 is, in many respects, a world away from 2019. However, we know Irish business well. We know the passion, energy and commitment that drives Irish entrepreneurs. We are confident, despite the immense challenges, we can reset and recover from this crisis.
For information on Enterprise Ireland’s Covid-19 supports contact our Business Response Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01-727 2088.
For information on all other supports go to www.enterprise-ireland.com
Pictured: Julie Sinnamon (l), CEO Enterprise Ireland, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD (c), and Michael Culligan (r), CEO Dublin Business Innovation Centre