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Government announces 160m euro in additional supports for Covid-hit businesses

Leo Varadkar unveiled details of a new Covid-19 Business Aid Scheme to help small businesses.

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Tanaiste Leo Varadkar unveiled details of the additional grants on Tuesday (Maxwells/PA)

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar unveiled details of the additional grants on Tuesday (Maxwells/PA)

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar unveiled details of the additional grants on Tuesday (Maxwells/PA)

The Government has announced 160 million euro in further grants to help support businesses affected by the pandemic.

A new 60 million euro scheme called the Covid-19 Business Aid Scheme (CBAS) will provide grants to businesses ineligible for the Government Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) and other grants.

It is expected to help about 7,500 small businesses with their fixed costs.

An additional 10 million is being allocated to companies developing and making PPE equipment used in the fight against Covid-19 through the Covid-19 Products Scheme.

Firms researching or manufacturing PPE, sanitisers, tests, equipment or other medicinal products which are relevant to coronavirus are eligible for funding of up to 50% of their capital costs.

The Government also approved an additional 90 million euro for its Sustaining Enterprise Fund, which offers funding of up to 800,000 euro, with 200,000 euro or 50% in non-repayable grants to eligible manufacturing and internationally traded services companies.

Enterprise Minister Leo Varadkar said he had hoped businesses would no longer need such levels of supports in 2021 but unfortunately the pandemic continued to have “devastating consequences”.

Mr Varadkar said businesses who qualify for the CBAS fund will be able to avail of an 8,000 euro payment paid in two instalments: 4,000 euro in the first quarter and another 4,000 euro in the second quarter of the year.

“The aim of CBAS is to assist businesses that are not eligible with the CRSS criteria but have faced a significant decline in revenue due to public health restrictions and have continuing fixed costs,” Mr Varadkar said.

“The grant of 8,000 euro is modest but will make a big difference for small businesses in particular,” he added

I'm determined to make sure as many businesses as possible survive to benefit from that bounceback when it comes and to restore employment to pre-pandemic levels no later than 2023Leo Varadkar

Wholesalers, suppliers, caterers and events companies down 75% or more in turnover which have a rateable premises will qualify for the measure.

Online applications will be available at the end of the month.

Mr Varadkar, who unveiled details of the additional grants at Government Buildings on Tuesday, said that the 90 million euro being made available for the Sustaining Enterprise Fund would bring the total fund up to 200 million euro.

“This funding will sustain up to 30,000 jobs across the country in firms like chocolate makers, cheese makers, sports events management, printing and precision engineering,” the Tanaiste said.

“When the pandemic ends and it will end, I believe, our economy is going to rebound rapidly,” he added.

“I’m determined to make sure as many businesses as possible survive to benefit from that bounceback when it comes and to restore employment to pre-pandemic levels no later than 2023.”

PA


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