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Government announces extra €160m in supports for Covid-hit businesses

A new €60 million scheme as part of the total package will go to businesses which have been unable to access Government funding until now.

Image: Sasko Lazarov

THE GOVERNMENT HAS announced funding of €160 million in additional supports for businesses affected by Covid-19. 

A new €60 million scheme as part of the total package will go to businesses which have been unable to access Government funding until now, as part of the Covid-19 Business Aid Scheme (CBAS).

Wholesalers, caterers and event suppliers that are down 75% or more in turnover will be able to avail of this funding. The new scheme will offer a grant of €8,000 for small businesses. 

An additional €10m will be allocated to the Covid-19 Products Scheme to help in the fight against the virus, the Government said today. 

Firms researching or manufacturing PPE, sanitisers, tests, equipment or other medicinal products which are relevant to Covid-19 are eligible for funding of up to 50% of their capital costs.

The Government also approved an additional €90 million for the Sustaining Enterprise Fund, which offers funding of up to €800,000, with €200,000 or 50% in non-repayable grants to eligible manufacturing and internationally traded services companies. 

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the funding announced today is designed to help businesses that do not qualify for the weekly CRSS grant from the Revenue Commissioners or existing schemes in areas like the arts, transport and tourism.

“The Government has sought to help as many businesses as possible through wage subsidies and the many different grant and loan schemes we have put in place.

“A new Scheme, the CBAS, will help some businesses that aren’t eligible for existing grants, largely due to the fact that the premises they operate from have not been closed to the public,” said Varadkar. 

The Government said it expects the CBAS will help approximately 7,500 businesses.

“While the grant is modest it will be of substantial assistance to smaller businesses with some of their fixed costs like rent, utilities and security,” said Varadkar.

The Government said it is finalising the details of the scheme and it will open for applications shortly.

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It comes after Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform Michael McGrath TD said he seeking views on the development of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) that will enable Ireland to access funding under the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

Ireland is expected to receive €853 million in grants under the Facility in 2021 and 2022. A further set of grants is to be allocated in 2023, taking into account economic developments between now and then.

McGrath said: ”In the past, the European Union has been criticised for being too slow in responding to economic challenges. Following the onset of Covid-19, I think it can be acknowledged that the European Central Bank has taken decisive action to limit the cost of public borrowing.

“In addition, a much stronger fiscal response has been put in place and the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) lies at the heart of the European Union’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The aim of the Facility is to mitigate the economic and social impact of the pandemic and make European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.”

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