Covid19 Financial Support For Irish Business

Sarah Corcoran

Blog Writer

Covid-19 is an unprecedented and unpredictable pandemic that is affecting businesses all over the world in some form or another. All businesses regardless of size or nature will be affected by Covid-19 for the foreseeable future. That is the only thing we know for certain.

The Irish Government and Enterprise Ireland are working to reduce the negative impact of this pandemic on Irish businesses and implementing financial supports to ease the burden. Here are some government schemes and financial supports that all companies should research before their Irish business reaches an unrecoverable level.

Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

The Irish Government has announced a scheme to assist employers and employees who are facing difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. This scheme is called the ‘Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme’ and takes effect from Thursday 26th March 2020. It enables employees, whose employers are affected by the pandemic, to receive significant supports directly from their employer through the payroll system. It was designed to assist employers who keep employees on the payroll. This means employers can retain links with employees for when business picks up after the crisis. The scheme will refund employers up to €410 per eligible employee and is expected to run for 12 weeks with extensions discussed after such time. Employers are encouraged to top up said subsidy – which pays up to 70% of an employee’s earnings – in order to keep their earnings as close to their normal income as possible.

Covid-19 Working Capital Loan Scheme

The €450m Covid-19 Working Capital Loan Scheme is a government initiative to support microenterprises through the current period of uncertainty. It is available through the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) and is open to all viable micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that meet the criteria. This scheme supports loans from €25,000 up to €1.5 million with a maximum interest rate of 4%. To qualify for eligibility to the scheme, businesses need to meet one criterion related to the impact of COVID-19 on their business and one innovation criterion as per EIF standard conditions.

Covid-19 Business Financial Planning Grant

The government of Ireland has also announced a new Covid-19 Business Financial Planning Grant to help companies prepare robust financial plans for their internal needs, banks and the SBCI. The €5,000 grant will enable companies to access external support from approved financial consultants to prepare a financial plan to secure the company in the short to medium terms, helping the company to understand its immediate financial position, secure the finance it requires to survive and provide a framework to sustain the business. The grant is open to businesses of 10 employees or more who meet the specific criteria as is made available through Enterprise Ireland.

Lean Business Continuity Voucher

The Lean Business Continuity Voucher allows eligible companies to access up to €2,500 in training or advisory services support related to the continued operation of their businesses. The services and support on offer may be in the form of management advice and/or training of management and staff. Training and support will be offered online in line with the current government guidelines. The Lean Business Continuity Voucher is open to small, medium or large client companies of Enterprise Ireland. Support topics include planning for resilience post crisis and crisis support where necessary.

Key Manager Grant

The Key Manager Grant provides partial funding towards the recruitment of a full or part-time manager with critical skills to support the business and future growth. Examples of Key Manager positions are Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Technical Officer (CTO), R&D Manager, Production Manager etc. Eligibility criteria includes being a small and medium-sized business with established clients, employing 10 or more employees and have been trading for 2 years or more.

Microfinance Ireland Loans

The government are doing their best to support small businesses to ensure that life goes back to some normalcy when this crisis lessens. They have increased the maximum loan available from Microfinance Ireland from €25,000 to €50,000 as an immediate measure to specifically deal with exceptional circumstances that microenterprises are facing. These are a small number of the resources, grants and supports available to businesses by both Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Government.

We would urge all companies facing hardship in the current climate, to reach out and explore the options available to them before irreconcilable damage is done to your business. If you have had to move out of your current office Premier Business Centre has a range of serviced office options which may suit your current business needs. Our locations range from Kildare to Dublin Offices and our virtual office service may also ease a burden for you. Contact our sales manager today for more information on how we can help.

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