State Promises €9,000 Digitalisation Vouchers

05 Aug 2021 | 02.19 pm

State Promises €9,000 Digitalisation Vouchers

Sustaining Enterprise and Accelerated Recovery Fund

05 Aug 2021 | 02.19 pm

The government is to release a further €51m in funding to help companies in their recovery from the impact of Covid-19 and to accelerate their digitalisation.

The Sustaining Enterprise and Accelerated Recovery Fund will provide liquidity in the form of grants, capital investment, equity and loan notes to manufacturing and internationally traded services companies negatively affected by Covid-19 to support productivity improvements and enhance their capacity building.

This fund will come to €31m, while a further €20m is being provided for the existing Sustaining Enterprise Fund. The funding package also incorporates €9,000 digitalisation vouchers to provide strategic intervention for any eligible company that wishes to develop a digital adaptation plan, based on their identified need.

All funding will be provided to the successful applicants before the end of 2021, according to business minister Leo Varadkar (pictured).

“Since the start of the pandemic we have focused on how best to sustain businesses affected by Covid-19 restrictions. One of our early measures was the €180m Sustaining Enterprise Fund,” the minister stated..

“Around two-thirds of the companies benefiting under this fund are outside Dublin, and it has helped to keep small, regionally-based companies in business. As we cautiously emerge from necessary public health restrictions and global markets begin to open up again, the government will continue to help businesses in their next phase of recovery and adaptation.”

Enterprise Ireland chief executive Leo Clancy added: ““To date Enterprise Ireland has approved over €181m in Covid-19 financial supports under the Sustaining Enterprise Fund. As economies reopen, ongoing investment in business-critical areas is vital to the long-term growth of companies.”

As always, there are terms and conditions. Full details and application routes are available on the Enterprise Ireland website, but here are the detailed requirements as set out in the government announcement.

 


Accelerated Recovery Fund

Eligible companies: The Accelerated Recovery Fund is open to companies that operate within the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors which

  • employed 10 or more full time employees on their payroll on 29 February 2020; or
  • employed 10 full time employees at the time of application

This fund is open to (i) domestically and internationally traded companies within the definition of manufacturing and (ii) internationally traded service sectors.

In order to be eligible for funding, companies must

  • Have experienced, or are projected to experience, a 15% or more reduction in actual or projected turnover or profit as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak; the reduction in turnover or profit of 15% or more relates to a comparable quarter in 2019 or 2020
  • Or have had a significant increase in operational costs as a result of Covid-19
  • Not have been Undertakings in Difficulty at 31st December 2019 and/or at the date of application, as provided for in State aid law. An exception to this is micro and small undertakings (i.e. undertakings with fewer than 50 employees and less than €10m of annual turnover and/or balance sheet value) provided that at the moment of providing the support, they are not subject to collective insolvency procedure under national law

Description of funding: Under this fund, eligible companies can apply for expenditure to support the implementation of an Accelerated Recovery Plan. The minimum eligible expenditure to support the implementation of the business plan is €150k. The maximum support that can be approved by Enterprise Ireland is €1.8m per undertaking.

Eligible costs will need to be detailed within the Accelerated Project Plan, and must fall under at least one of the following categories:

  • Capital costs
  • Implementation costs (covering consultancy and people)
  • Training costs

Digitalisation Voucher

The new Digitalisation Voucher is a 100% funded grant which provides support to companies as they seek to access the expertise needed to develop a digital roadmap for their business. This expertise can take the form of independent technical or advisory services that relate to the current and future operations of the business, with respect to assessing their digital readiness and identifying opportunities for increased digitalisation across the business.

Eligible companies

Manufacturing or internationally traded services companies which

  • employed 10 or more full time employees on their payroll on 29 February 2020; or
  • employed 10 full time employees at the time of application
  • As part of the application you will need to complete a digital assessment scorecard from Enterprise Ireland globalambition.ie/scorecard which will provide an overview of your current digital readiness

In order to be eligible for funding, companies must:

  • Have experienced, or are projected to experience, a 15% or more reduction in actual or projected turnover or profit as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak; the reduction in turnover or profit of 15% or more relates to a comparable quarter in 2019 or 2020
  • Or have had a significant increase in operational costs as a result of Covid-19
  • Not have been Undertakings in Difficulty at 31st December 2019 and/or at the date of application, as provided for in State aid law. An exception to this is micro and small undertakings (i.e. undertakings with fewer than 50 employees and less than €10m of annual turnover and/or balance sheet value) provided that at the moment of providing the support, they are not subject to collective insolvency procedure under national law

Description of funding:

  • The voucher covers the provision of technical or advisory services related to the operations of the business, from an approved service provider up to a value of €9,000
  • A maximum daily rate of €900 shall apply
  • The support will be provided over a relatively short period but it may be spread out over a maximum of 8 weeks
  • Eligible Projects must include one or more of the following activities:

– Internal process optimisation (Lean-Digital-Automation)
– Customer digital experience (Product, Service, Route to Market, Channels)
– Data-driven decision making


Sustaining Enterprise Fund

Eligible companies

Up to €800,000 is available to eligible companies which

  • Employ 10 or more full-time employees
  • Are operating in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors on 29th February 2020 or at time of application. The fund is open to (i) domestically traded companies within the definition of manufacturing and (ii) internationally traded service sectors

In order to be eligible for funding, companies must:

  • Have experienced, or are projected to experience, a 15% or more reduction in actual or projected turnover or profit as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak; the reduction in turnover or profit of 15% or more relates to a comparable quarter in 2019 or 2020
  • Or have had a significant increase in operational costs as a result of Covid-19
  • Not have been Undertakings in Difficulty at 31st December 2019 and/or at the date of application, as provided for in State aid law. An exception to this is micro and small undertakings (i.e. undertakings with fewer than 50 employees and less than €10m of annual turnover and/or balance sheet value) provided that at the moment of providing the support, they are not subject to collective insolvency procedure under national law

Description of funding

  • Funding from €100,000, up to a maximum of €800,000 is available to eligible companies
  • Funding will be provided for a five-year period, using the following instruments: repayable advances, grant aid, equity or loan note
  • Funding provided will be a combination of repayable and non-repayable support
  • Up to 50% of the funding provided will be non-repayable, with maximum non-repayable support of €200,000
  • An administration fee applies to the repayable element of the funding (i.e. repayable advances, loans or equity), as follows: – 0% administration fee on first six months – 4% per annum thereafter
  • Repayable Advances are due for repayment in years 4 and 5, i.e. no repayment for the first 3 years
  • The equity instrument used will primarily be Cumulative Redeemable Preference Shares (CRPs)
  • Cumulative Convertible Redeemable Preference Shares (CCRPs) and ordinary equity may be used where Enterprise Ireland seeks to match the terms of other investors
  • All funding will be made available against a submitted Sustaining Enterprise Project Plan
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