The Irish Government has this week announced additional financial supports, as well as, changes to current funding schemes. These financial supports are available to businesses operating in Ireland who have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and Brexit.
Here is a rundown of the key financial support announcements and updates you should be aware of:
The first call for applications under the Government’s €100m Scheme for the Agri-food sector has been announced.
The scheme has been established in recognition of the sector’s unique exposure to the impact of Brexit. Up to €70m is available under the first call, which is being administered by Enterprise Ireland. It is open to large, medium or small enterprises, engaged in the processing and marketing of primary meat and dairy products to apply.
The Scheme will be administered by Enterprise Ireland and will take the form of a competitive call with this first call of €70 million. It is open to large, medium or small enterprises, engaged in the processing and marketing of primary meat and dairy products to apply.
Successful projects will be focused on the production of new and/or improved higher value add products, and/or production processes, required for new markets, and not principally focused on the processing of increased volumes of raw materials.
Applicants will need to demonstrate that the investment underpins sustainable food production, at both farm and processor level, and contribute to balanced, sustainable regional development. All investments under the scheme will comply with national and EU legislative and regulatory environmental requirements and standards.
Eligible projects must have a total eligible capital expenditure of at least €1 million, up to a maximum of €25 million. The maximum aid intensity will be up to 30% of the eligible investment costs, up to a maximum direct grant of €5 million.
All relevant documentation is now available on Enterprise Ireland’s website. Companies can make enquiries to CIS@enterprise-ireland.com. Eligible companies are invited to submit applications from Wednesday 10th February.
The closing date for applications is the 15th of April 2021.
This week the Government announced €160m for additional supports to help businesses during the pandemic.
The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD said: “The government agreed to do more to help businesses respond to the economic challenges arising from the pandemic with a particular focus on firms that do not qualify for the weekly CRSS grant from the Revenue Commissioners or existing sectoral schemes in areas like the arts, transport, and tourism.”
CBAS is a new €60m scheme for businesses that have been unable to access Government funding such as CRSS. It is aimed at wholesalers, caterers, and event suppliers that are down 75% or more in turnover. CBAS will offer a grant of €8,000 for small businesses to assist with some of their fixed costs like rent, utilities, and security
The Government is finalising the details of the scheme and it will open for applications shortly.
The Government is allocating an additional €10m to the COVID-19 Products Scheme to help in the fight against the virus. Firms researching or manufacturing PPE, sanitisers, tests, equipment, or other medicinal products that are relevant to COVID-19 are eligible for funding of up to 50% of their capital costs.
An additional €90m has been approved 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. To qualify for this funding the company must employ 10 or more full-time employees and have seen (or expect to see) a 15% or greater reduction in actual or projected turnover or profit, or a significant increase in costs, as a result of Covid-19. Application forms are available from the Business Response Team within Enterprise Ireland.
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The Irish government introduced Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme to provide financial support to employers affected by the pandemic, it replaced the temporary wage subsidy scheme (TWSS) from 1 September 2020. The scheme is set to continue until 31 March 2021 but may be extended.
To be eligible for the scheme, employers
- must possess a valid tax clearance certificate and must maintain tax clearance for the duration of the scheme.
- be able to demonstrate that as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic their business is expected to experience a 30% decline in turnover or orders between 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021 in comparison to;
- the same period in 2019 for established businesses,
- the date of commencement to 30 June 2019 for businesses who commenced trading between 1 January 2019 and 1 May 2019, or
- projections if Covid-19 had not occurred for businesses who commenced after 1 May 2019
The subsidy is based on an employee’s gross weekly wage, including notional pay before deductions. Employees are eligible if they are in receipt of weekly gross wages between €151.50 and €1,462.
The following enhanced EWSS subsidy rates have been extended until 31 March 2021 and are aligned with the rates of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).
|Less than €151.50||NIL|
|€151.50 – €202.99||€ 203|
|€203 – €299.99||€ 250|
|€300 – €399.99||€ 300|
|€400 – €1,462||€ 350|
A reduced rate of employers PRSI of 0.5% is charged on wages paid which are eligible for the subsidy payment.
Revenue has said that compliance checks will be carried out to ensure that the scheme is being operated correctly. For more information on the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme, visit the Revenue website