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Tourism firms can apply for grants of up to €200,000 under new scheme

Applications for the TBCS will open on 11 February.

Fanore caravan park, Co Clare (file photo).
Fanore caravan park, Co Clare (file photo).
Image: Shutterstock/mark_gusev

Updated Feb 1st 2021, 10:55 AM

TOURISM BUSINESSES AFFECTED by the Covid-19 pandemic can apply for grants of up to €200,000 under a €55 million scheme launched today.

The Tourism Business Continuity Scheme (TBCS) was announced by Minister Catherine Martin in Budget 2021 and will be administered by Fáilte Ireland.

It will provide financial support to tourism companies that were unable to qualify for assistance under the government’s Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS).

The minimum grant is €3,750 and the maximum grant is €200,000.

Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, said the scheme is designed to support firms that were not eligible for the CRSS.

“There are many tourism businesses that unfortunately fall outside of the remit of that scheme. So, this is really designed to try and catch as many of those as possible,” Kelly told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

He said between 1,200 and 1,600 businesses will be eligible for the new scheme.

Firms that can apply for the TBCS include some not-for-profit tourist attractions, cruise hire companies, boat tour operators, caravan and camping businesses, bike tours, surf schools, kayaking tours, ‘hop on hop off’ bus tours, walking tours, and golf courses with a tourism offering.

“There’s a whole range of different types of businesses that have fallen outside the CRSS and this scheme has been designed to catch those,” Kelly said.

To be eligible for the scheme:

  • a business’ monthly turnover from October 2020 to January 2021 must be less than 25% of its average monthly turnover in 2019
  • the business must have a minimum annual turnover of €50,000 and minimum fixed costs of 10% of turnover
  • the business must not be eligible to apply for the CRSS or have received funding through the Fáilte Ireland Coach Tourism Business Continuity Scheme or Ireland Based Inbound Agents Business Continuity Scheme

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Applications for the TBCS will open on 11 February.

If their application is approved, firms will receive a grant within weeks, Kelly added.

Speaking at the launch today, Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin said the scheme “will be important to help those strategically important tourism businesses that are ineligible for other supports”.

“The government will continue to assess the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy and ensure that appropriate supports are in place. We are now developing tourism for survival through the pandemic and recovery in the medium and long term,” Martin stated.

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Órla Ryan

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