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File image of Ministers Paschal Donohoe and Michael McGrath. Julian Behal

Businesses can once again apply for the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme

A suite of business support measures were agreed by Cabinet today.

THE EMPLOYMENT WAGE Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) will re-open for applications from businesses impacted by the latest Covid-19 restrictions, the government has announced. 

In a package of enhanced business support schemes agreed today by Cabinet, businesses who were previously on the EWSS can now re-apply if needed. 

It is also open to applications from other businesses in certain circumstances. 

The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) already re-opened to applicants earlier this month. 

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar encouraged employers to keep employees “on the books” using the EWSS rather than letting them go to enter the PUP. 

Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath said the EWSS changes will cost approximately €50 million within the space of one month 

The Covid Restrictions Support Scheme will also be available to hospitality businesses who decide to close if it is not viable to remain open under the current Covid-19 restrictions, such as the new 8pm closing time.

This will also be paid to those that stay open whose turnover is less than 40% of their 2019 earnings.

Varadkar said the package agreed today by Cabinet is targeted for the hospitality, arts and entertainment sectors “who will be most affected by the most recent restrictions” 

The Tánaiste said those in the events and entertainment sector are “not in any way to blame” for the pandemic, and said the government is there to support them.

Michael McGrath said the restrictions have caused “an enormous amount of anxiety and despair” for people and businesses, especially those who now may lose their jobs as a result. 

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