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Latest COVID-19 business supports

Image listing further measures to support businesses impacted by COVID-19

On the 2nd May 2020, the government agreed, at a special Cabinet meeting, a suite of business supports to further support small, medium and larger business that are negatively impacted by COVID-19.

It follows the publication of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, which sets out a five stage plan to ease the COVID-19 restrictions and reopen Ireland’s economy and society. This package of measures aims to help businesses to restart, reconnect and rehire staff who have been laid off or furloughed.

Those measures are:

  • a €10,000 restart grant for micro and small businesses based on a rates/waiver rebate from 2019
  • a three month commercial rates waiver for impacted businesses
  • a €2 billion Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund within the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), which will make capital available to medium and large enterprises
  • a €2 billion COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme to support lending to SMEs for terms ranging from 3 months to 6 years, which will be below market interest rates
  • the ‘warehousing’ of tax liabilities for a period of twelve months after recommencement of trading during which time there will be no debt enforcement action taken by Revenue
  • a commitment to local authorities to make up the rates shortfall, so that local authorities can continue provide full services to the public

The commercial rates waiver will provide relief to impacted businesses as well as certainty to local authorities as to their funding. Rates alleviation will be complemented by the establishment of a Restart Fund for micro and small businesses which would provide a further €250 million to support ratepayers. The fund, which will provide up to €10,000 per business, will be implemented either through a rebate or waiver scheme based on rates payment for 2019, and will be targeted more widely at micro and small enterprises that have suffered large falls in revenue as a result of the crisis. Details of the scheme will be further developed by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government together with the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

Our primary producers (farmers and fishers) will be included in the new Credit Guarantee Scheme. Cash flow and liquidity is a key issue right along the food chain and this Scheme will give confidence to all businesses that assistance will be available when required.

The further measures to support businesses impacted by COVID-19 in their planning for reopening include:

  • a €2 billion Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund within the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), which will make capital available to medium and large enterprises on commercial terms
  • a €2 billion COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme to support lending to SMEs for terms ranging from 3 months to 6 years, which will be below market interest rates
  • the ‘warehousing’ of tax liabilities for a period of twelve months after recommencement of trading during which time there will be no debt enforcement action taken by Revenue and no interest charge accruing in respect of the warehoused debt
  • the waiving of commercial rates for a three month period beginning on 27 March for businesses that have been forced to close due to public health requirements
  • provision of a Restart Fund for micro and small businesses of €250 million for micro and small enterprises

In addition, The Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland announcement of an extension of payment breaks for businesses and households to 6 months for those requiring assistance which is being provided to bank and non-bank customers impacted by COVID-19. It is essential that customers fully engage with their lender to avail of these extensions.

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