The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys today announced that the application form for the new €250m Restart Grant providing direct grant aid to micro and small businesses is now available online on all local authority websites.
The Restart Grant is aimed at helping micro and small businesses with the costs associated with reopening and reemploying workers following COVID-19 closures.
Eligible businesses who have stayed open throughout the crisis, as well as those who are reopening under Phase 1 (from 18 May) and Phase 2 (8 June) of the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, are encouraged to apply now for the Restart Grant. The Government says these applications will be prioritised for payment by the local authorities.
To avail of the Restart Grant, applicants must be a commercial business and be in the Local Authorities Commercial Rates Payment System and:
• Have an annual turnover of less than €5m and employ between 1 to 50 people.
• Have suffered a projected 25%+ loss in turnover to end June 2020.
• Commit to remain open or to reopen if it was closed.
• Declare the intention to retain employees that are on The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and re-employ staff on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment as business recovers.
The grant will be equivalent to the rates bill of the business in 2019, or a minimum payment of €2,000, whichever is the higher, and will be subject to a maximum payment of €10,000.
If a company is currently in a rateable premise but was not rate-assessed in 2019 it is still eligible to apply. The local authority can pay the grant based on an estimate of what the rates demand for 2019 would have been.
Applications for the Restart Grant can be made online directly to local authorities and further information is available on the application form. If there are queries that are not addressed on the application form, businesses can contact the Business Support Unit in each local authority.
The Government says this direct grant support is part of the wider €12bn package of supports for firms of all sizes, which includes The Wage Subsidy Scheme, grants, low-cost loans, write-off of commercial rates and deferred tax liabilities, all of which will help to improve cashflow amongst our SMEs.
Speaking today, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys said, "I want to ensure that eligible companies with the most immediate need to get back up-and-running receive the grant support as quickly as possible. For this reason, the businesses listed in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Roadmap, as well as those who stayed open all along, will be prioritised. Businesses know the dates on which their premises can reopen, and we want to avoid long waiting times for the grant. As a result, I am urging businesses to wait until a few weeks before their business is due to reopen before submitting their application to the local authorities."
The Minister added, "Staff in the local authorities will endeavour to process applications quickly, but a quick turnaround will be difficult to achieve if every business applies immediately."