Checklist – Supports for COVID-19 Impacted Businesses
Please review the below list for available supports to see if you can avail of any. Please note some funding has expiration dates.
- Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme – The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), provides a flat-rate subsidy to qualifying employers based on the numbers of eligible employees on the employer’s payroll
- COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment – The Pandemic Unemployment Payment, is available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic
- COVID Restrictions Support Scheme: The COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) offers support to businesses forced to close or trade at significantly reduced levels as a result of restrictions imposed on them in response to COVID-19. Eligible businesses can make a claim to Revenue for a payment known as an Advance Credit for Trading Expenses (ACTE). An ACTE is payable for each week a business is affected by the restrictions. The ACTE is subject to a maximum weekly payment of €5,000.
Loans, Grants, Vouchers and Schemes
- COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme: The COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme facilitates up to €2 billion in lending to eligible businesses. Loans under the Scheme range from €10,000 to €1 million, for terms of up to five and a half years. Financing will be offered through a range of products, including term loans, working capital loans and overdrafts. Loans of up to €250,000 under the Scheme are available unsecured (except where this is a requirement of the product feature, as in the case of asset finance, invoice discount facilities, etc). The Scheme is operated by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) through participating finance providers.
- Microfinance Ireland COVID-19 Business Loans: COVID-19 Business Loans up to €25,000 are available through Microfinance Ireland with zero repayments and zero interest for the first 6 months and the equivalent of an additional 6 months interest-free subject to certain terms and conditions. The loans can range from €5,000 to €25,000. Repayments will commence in month 7 for the remaining period of your loan. The Government will rebate to you the interest paid in the following 6 months (months 7-12 of your loan). The interest rate after the first 6 months will be a reduced interest rate 4.5% APR if submitted through the Local Enterprise Office Network (or other referral partners) or 5.5% APR if you apply directly to Microfinance Ireland. The loan terms are typically up to 3 years and there are no fees or charges.
- COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme: The 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.
- Future Growth Loan Scheme: The enhanced Future Growth Loan Scheme makes up to €800m of loans available for terms of 7-10 years. This scheme is available to eligible businesses in Ireland, including those in the primary agriculture (farmers) and seafood sectors, to support strategic long-term investment.
- Sustaining Enterprise Fund: The Sustaining Enterprise Fundis 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 with amounts between €100,000 and €800,000 available to eligible companies who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The fund includes a 50% non-repayable grant element, up to a limit of €200,000.
- 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.
- 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.
- COVID-19 Products Scheme: The COVID-19 Products Scheme facilitates the research and development of COVID products, to enable the construction or upgrading of testing and upscaling infrastructures that contribute to the development COVID-19 relevant products, as well as to support the production of products needed to respond to the outbreak. The scheme is delivered through IDA Ireland’s COVID-19 supports and Enterprise Ireland’s COVID-19 Business Response.
Local Enterprise (LEO)
- 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 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. Contact your Local Enterprise Officefor further details.
- Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID: The Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID (SBASC) is a grant designed for businesses that are not eligible for the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), the Fáilte Ireland Business Continuity grant or other direct sectoral grant schemes. Applications should be made to your Local Authority by the closing date 21 April 2021. Eligible businesses will receive a payment of €4,000 for the first quarter of 2021. A decision on the second quarter 2021 will be made in due course. Rate paying businesses including wholesalers, suppliers and caterers down 75% or more in turnover will benefit.
- Enterprise Support Grant: The Enterprise Support Grant for businesses impacted by COVID-19is available for eligible self-employed people who close their COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment on or after 18 May 2020. This will provide business owners with a once-off grant of up to €1,000 to restart their business which was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme: The Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme, delivered by SOLAS, provides financial support for apprenticeship employers who take on apprentices on national apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeship employers are eligible for a €3,000 payment for each new apprentice.
- Code of Conduct for commercial rents: A voluntary Code of Conduct between landlords and tenants for commercial rents has been developed based on examples from other jurisdictions and with input from other Departments, State agencies and key stakeholders. The aim of the Code is to facilitate discussions between landlords and tenants impacted by COVID-19.
- Commercial rates waiver: With limited exceptions, all businesses were granted a nine-month commercial rates waiver to 27 December 2020. Further commercial rates relief for affected sectors has been extended to 30 June 2021. The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage will provide further details on the commercial rates waiver.
Ireland Strategic Investment Fund
- Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund: 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.
- Business Interruption Insurance: offers businesses protection against financial loss when they are unable to operate. Check insurance policy for any claims under Business Interruption Insurance. In the past year, the COVID-19 outbreak has raised questions about whether that coverage includes pandemic-related losses. The short answer is, it depends on the terms of the policy and how the insurer, and possibly the courts, interpret them. Please consult your insurance broker to find out and make a claim.
- 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.
- Tourism sector: The Fáilte Ireland COVID-19 Business Support Hubis targeting its supports to respond to the challenges tourism businesses face. Their supports include specific operational guidelines for every sector and a new Business Continuity Scheme to help tourism
businesses offset fixed costs incurred in 2020 and support them to continue operating through 2021.
- · €17m funding for outdoor dining announced: Tourism Minister Catherine Martin and Fáilte Ireland have announced on 31st March 2021 details of the €17m scheme. It will be in two parts: part one will provide funding for individual tourism and hospitality businesses to develop and increase their own outdoor seating capacity. Part two will allow local authorities to develop “permanent outdoor public dining spaces” in towns and urban centres, similar to those across other parts of Europe. The scheme will open for applications on April 12th.
Department of Tourism
- The Live Performance Support Scheme 2021 has been launched to assist commercial venues, promoters and producers to employ artists and musicians of all genres, performers, technicians and other support staff in the live performance sector.
Other Reliefs that may be Applicable
Please discuss same with your accountant here in PSC
- ‘Warehousing’ of deferred tax debts: The scheme, administered by Revenue, will ‘warehouse’ VAT and PAYE (Employer) debtsassociated with the COVID-19 crisis.
- Interim refunds for income tax, corporation tax and PSWT
- Deferral of surcharges and loss restrictions, for late filing of returns
- Deferral of “close company” surcharge
- Farm averaging of profits
- Phased payment applications
- Certain BIK concessions
- Certain concessions as regards tax residence / working abroad
- VAT and customs duty relief on importing Covid PPE