Government Boosts Covid Business Aids

09 Feb 2021 | 03.14 pm

Government Boosts Covid Business Aids

Covid-19 Business Aid Scheme will help slammed firms that don't qualify for CRSS grant

09 Feb 2021 | 03.14 pm

Enterprise minister Leo Varadkar has announced new financial aids to help businesses impacted by the Covid pandemic. These were agreed by cabinet today.

A new €60m scheme, the Covid-19 Business Aid Scheme (CBAS), is being developed to provide grants to businesses ineligible for the government’s other existing schemes designed to help with fixed costs. Wholesalers, suppliers, caterers and events companies down 75% or more in turnover will benefit, according to the minister.

Varadkar (pictured) stated: “The government today agreed to do more to help businesses respond to the economic challenges arising from the pandemic with a particular focus on firms that do not qualify for the weekly CRSS grant from the Revenue Commissioners or existing sectoral schemes in areas like the arts, transport and tourism.

“CBAS will help some businesses that aren’t eligible for existing grants, largely due to the fact that the premises they operate from have not been closed to the public. We estimate that this will help c.7,500 businesses. While the grant is modest it will be of substantial assistance to smaller businesses with some of their fixed costs like rent, utilities and security.

“For example, wholesalers, suppliers, caterers, office-based businesses and events companies down 75% or more in turnover will qualify. We are finalising the details and it will be open for applications shortly.”

Provisional Criteria for COVID-19 Business Aid Scheme (CBAS)

• The scheme would be available to companies, self-employed, sole traders or partnerships

• Minimum turnover of €50,000

• Are not owned and operated by a public body

• The business is not eligible for CRSS or Fáilte Ireland Business Continuity Scheme

• They are in receipt of a rates bill from their local authority for business which operates from a building, or similar fixed physical structure on which business rates are payable (mobile premises, or premises which are not permanently fixed in place, do not meet the definition of business premises nor do premises on which no rates are payable)

• The business must have a current eTax Clearance Certificate from the Revenue Commissioners

• The turnover of the business over the claim period is estimated to be no more than 25% of the average weekly turnover of the business in 2019; or the projected average weekly turnover of the business for 1st January to 30th June 2021 for businesses that commenced after 1st November 2019; and the business intends to resume trading in full once government restrictions are eased.

Sustaining Enterprise Fund

Government also approved an additional €90m for the Sustaining Enterprise Fund, which offers funding of up to €800,000, with €200,000 or 50% in non-repayable grants, to eligible manufacturing and internationally traded services companies.

The Sustaining Enterprise Fund is available to qualifying firms employing 10 or more employees which have been impacted by a 15 per cent or more reduction in actual or projected turnover or profit, and/or have a significant increase in costs as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Covid Products Scheme

An additional €10m will be allocated to the Covid-19 Products Scheme. Firms researching or manufacturing PPE, sanitisers, tests, equipment or other medicinal products which are relevant to Covid-19 are eligible for funding of up to 50% of their capital costs. The scheme is delivered through IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland.

The scheme is solely focused on Covid-related products, including:

• Relevant medicinal products and treatments and their intermediates, active pharmaceutical ingredients and raw materials

• Medical devices and hospital and medical equipment, including PPE and necessary raw materials

• Disinfectants and their intermediary products and raw chemical materials necessary for their production

• Track and trace, temperature monitoring and relevant COVID-19 responsive services

• Process innovations targeting an efficient and streamlined production of the above.

Varadkar said the additional €10 m will allow for more of projects from a recent Call by Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland to be funded.

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