The government recently approved a €250m restart grant scheme aimed at helping micro and small businesses as they re-open and begin to scale their operations following the COVID-19 enforced period of closure and/or minimal trading.
The scheme is open to all businesses that meet the following criteria:
The direct funding grant applicable to businesses will be equal to their business rates charge in 2019, subject to a minimum grant of €2k and a maximum grant of €10k.
If a company is currently in a rateable premise but was not rate-assessed in 2019 it is still eligible to apply. Local authorities can pay the grant based on an estimate of what the rates demand for 2019 would have been.
The funding will be a small but welcome cash injection to businesses faced with costs in preparing their businesses to reopen. The grant could be used to defray ongoing fixed costs, e.g. utilities, insurance, refurbishment or for measures to ensure employee and customer safety.
To apply, the businesses will have to fill in online application forms on the websites of their local authority. The local authorities are working towards approving the grant aid within one week of application, subject to demand. Priority will be given to businesses that are expected to open in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Government Roadmap. The closing date for receipt of applications is 31 August.
We welcome the direct aid nature of the support. Unlike the debt funding solutions provided to date, it will not place additional cash flow pressures on small businesses when trading resumes at below normalised levels.