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Government outlines further measures to support businesses impacted by Covid-19

Government outlines further measures to support businesses impacted by Covid-19

Government outlines further measures to support businesses impacted by Covid-19

At a special Cabinet meeting on Saturday, government agreed a suite of measures to further support small, medium and larger business that are negatively impacted by Covid-19.

It follows the publication  of the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society & Business, which sets out a five stage plan to ease the Covid-19 restrictions and reopen Ireland’s economy and society.

Also read: Country to be reopened gradually over five phases when current lockdown ends on May 18

The Covid-19 emergency has had an unprecedented impact on the economy, as well as society. 

The Government has already brought forward a series of measures to support those impacted by this global pandemic. They have included emergency income support such as the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

It is now necessary to introduce a number of additional measures to aid the economy as the Covid-19 restrictions start to be lifted.

Those measures are:

  • A €10,000 restart grant for micro and small businesses based on a rates/waiver rebate from 2019;
  • A three month commercial rates waiver for impacted businesses (beginning from March 27);
  • A €2 billion Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund within the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), which will make capital available to medium and large enterprises on commercial terms;
  • A €2 billion COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme to support lending to SMEs for terms ranging from 3 months to 6 years, which will be below market interest rates;
  • The ‘warehousing’ of tax liabilities for a period of twelve months after recommencement of trading during which time there will be no debt enforcement action taken by Revenue and no interest charge accruing in respect of the warehoused debt;
  • A commitment to local authorities to make up the rates shortfall, so that local authorities can continue provide full services to the public

Also read: Large gaps in Government supports will see Longford businesses continuing to struggle

The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, said: “Covid-19 has created a world that none of us could have imagined just a few short weeks ago. Our collective public health has been targeted; our businesses, and our economy, have been shouldered with an unimaginable burden; and our society is grappling with this new reality. But, by working together, we are minimising the damage. The hard work of the Irish people has ensured that we are getting to grips with this disease, our people are united in caring for one another under the most extreme of circumstances and our businesses are attempting to adapt to this new and most challenging environment.

“On top of the measures previously put in place by Government, this suite of measures being outlined is designed to build confidence, further assist businesses in terms of the management of their companies, and allow them to begin looking to the future and start charting a path forward for weeks and months ahead. We will continue to seek the best ways of supporting our people, and wider society, and rebuilding our economy so that we can get people back to work safely. We will do this by being cognisant of official public health advice and doing what is in the best interests of all our people.”
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, said: “The roadmap announced by Government yesterday outlines a pathway to reopening our economy. This suite of supports represents the next phase in our ongoing response to support businesses through the pandemic and will assist them as they plan for the future’.

 “We now have a comprehensive suite of supports for firms of all sizes, which includes grants, low-cost loans, write-off of commercial rates and deferred tax liabilities, all of which will help to improve cashflow amongst our SMEs.

 “The new €250 million Restart Fund in particular will be a critically important tool to support small businesses in our towns and villages to reopen their doors and get back on their feet with supports of up to €10,000 available.”

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