Over the next number of weeks we will continue to update our Covid-19 Information section with any relevant information pertinent to the SME sector in Ireland. This will cover any financial supports available, research on trends, the economy and your employees working from home.
Some supports we will delve deeper into and provide additional information and updates on, in separate posts so stay tuned to our website for more information.
Government supports and guidance
- The COVID-19 Income Support Scheme provides financial support to Irish workers and businesses affected by the crisis.
- COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme: The COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme, operated by Revenue, enables employees, whose employers are affected by the pandemic, to receive significant supports directly from their employer through the payroll system.
- Pandemic Unemployment Payment: The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a payment of €350 per week. It is available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MyWelfare.ie is the quickest and easiest way to apply for payments – all you need is your email address, PPSN and bank account details.On MyWelfare.ie all customers can
- apply for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
- apply for Enhanced Illness Benefit for COVID-19 including for self-isolation cases
- apply for a jobseeker’s payment
- request to close their Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
- Short-time Work Support: Employees of businesses that need to reduce hours or days worked can avail of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Short-time Work Support.
- General grant supports: The full range of Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Local Enterprise Office and Údarás na Gaeltachta grant supports continue to be available to eligible firms to help with strategies to access finance, commence or ramp-up online trading activity, reconfigure business models, cut costs, innovate, diversify markets and supply chains and to improve competitiveness.
- Trading Online Voucher: The Local Enterprise Office Trading Online Voucher is a government grant scheme, designed to assist small businesses with up to 10 employees. It offers financial assistance of up to €2,500 along with training and advice to help your business trade online. Businesses that have already received a Trading Online Voucher can now apply for a second voucher, where upgrades are required.
- LEAN for Micro: LEAN for Micro is available to Local Enterprise Office clients to help build resilience within small companies. Businesses can avail of consultancy support with a LEAN Expert or help to implement new remote working and physical distancing guidelines.
- COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme: Applications are now open for the new Enterprise Ireland Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme to support retail companies to enhance their digital capability. The call is open to indigenous retailers employing 10 or more people to develop a more competitive online offer in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Grants ranging from €10,000 to €40,000 will be awarded under the competitive scheme.
- COVID-19 Business Financial Planning Grant: The COVID-19 Business Financial Planning Grant, worth up to €5,000, is designed to help companies to develop a robust financial plan, including the preparation of documentation required to support applications for external finance from banks and/or other finance providers. The grant is a new support for Enterprise Ireland clients and those manufacturing or internationally traded services companies that employ 10 or more full time employees.
- Lean Business Improvement Voucher: The Lean Business Continuity Voucher is available to eligible companies to access up to €2,500 in training or advisory services support related to the continued operation of their businesses during the current pandemic. It is open to small, medium or large client companies of Enterprise Ireland or Údarás na Gaeltachta (including High Potential Start-ups). The voucher may be used to obtain services from approved providers.
- Commercial rates waiver:Commercial rates are being waived for a three month period beginning on 27 March 2020 for businesses that have been forced to close due to public health requirements.
- Cross-border companies: InterTradeIreland’s Emergency Business Solutions offers professional advice, to the value of €2,250, to address key business challenges related to COVID-19. The E-Merge programme provides €2,800 consultancy support to help cross-border businesses develop online sales and eCommerce solutions.
- Food, drink and horticulture sector: Bord Bia’s ‘Navigating Change’ COVID-19 Response programme offers a suite of supports for food, drink and horticulture businesses affected by COVID-19. Bord Iascaigh Mhara is providing COVID-19 business support to the seafood sector.Teagasc is available to provide support on issues facing farm businesses in light of COVID-19.
- The Credit Guarantee Scheme supports loans up to €1 million for periods of up to 7 years. Applications can be made to AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank. Eligibility criteria apply.
- Microenterprises can access COVID-19 Business Loans of up to €50,000 from Microfinance Ireland. The terms include a six months interest free and repayment free moratorium, with the loan to then be repaid over the remaining 30 months of the 36-month loan period. Loans are available at an interest rate of between 4.5% and 5.5%. Businesses can apply through their Local Enterprise Office or directly at MicrofinanceIreland.ie. Eligibility criteria apply.
- The new €450m SBCI COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme for eligible businesses supports loans from €25,000 up to €1.5 million (first €500,000 unsecured) with a maximum interest rate of 4%. Applications can be made through the SBCI website at gov.ie. Eligibility criteria apply.
- An additional €200 million in COVID-19 funding for the Future Growth Loan Scheme, which will be released in tranches, will provide longer-term loans to COVID-19 impacted businesses.
- The new Sustaining Enterprise Fund of up to €180 million is specifically aimed at firms operating in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors, with 10 or more employees, that are vulnerable but viable. The fund is operated by Enterprise Ireland, providing repayable advances of up to €800,000 as agreed with the EU under new State Aid rules.
- As part of the Sustaining Enterprise Fund, Enterprise Ireland will also administer a specific Sustaining Enterprise Fund for Small Enterprise. This fund will provide a short term working capital injection of up to €50,000 to eligible smaller companies to support business continuity and strengthen their ability to return to growth.
- The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund will focus on investment in medium and large scale enterprises in Ireland through a Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund. The fund, worth up to €2 billion, will make capital available to medium and large enterprises on commercial terms.
We can assist with any financial support applications and are always here for a chat and a coffee (even if it is a virtual one), and we’re ready to jump into action.