Longford County Council has confirmed that there has been a very strong interest from the micro and small business community in the COVID-19 Business Restart grant.
This grant support is a Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation initiative designed to assist businesses with the costs associated with reopening and reemploying workers following the COVID-19 closures.
The level of grant available is between €2,000 and €10,000 and is linked to the rates liability on a business premises in 2019.
Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, Gerard Farrell said ‘The Restart Grant is designed to help small businesses get back on their feet. While the grant may be small, it can be used to defray ongoing fixed costs, replenishing stock and implement measures needed to ensure employee and customer safety.’
Commenting on the scheme, Paddy Mahon, Chief Executive, said ‘The Government backed scheme provides a vital cash injection into the local business community as it tries to get back on its feet post COVID-19.
While the small firms sector suffered considerably over the last three months, evidence through the scheme to date would suggest that almost all businesses intend to re-open and appear relatively confident that they can trade out of the current crisis.’
John McKeon, Head of Finance, confirmed that Longford County Council is one of the few councils that has automated the application process making it easier for business owners to avail of the support and the link can be found at www.longfordcoco.ie.
Currently there have been over 400 on-line applications for the Restart Grant from businesses throughout Longford, which is the highest per capita uptake in the country at the moment. The closing date for receipt of applications is 31st August 2020, and SME’s are encouraged to apply early, regardless of their planned re-opening date under the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Business.
Michael Nevin, Head of Enterprise, encouraged all eligible businesses to apply for the scheme and advised any business that has a query in relation to the scheme to contact either the Rates Office or the LEO office. Michael also said that the LEO team continues to actively engage with business to support them as they navigate the challenges they were facing.
As new initiatives are introduced to support reopening businesses in Ireland the team provides the most up to date information and advice on how to access these including COVID-19 Business Loans, Trading Online Vouchers, Restart Grant and rates waiver scheme.
Programmes on starting your own business and planning for reopening and getting your business online are also being provided online.