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Monday, 10th August 2020

O’Dowd encourages businesses to apply for Restart Grant Plus scheme

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Tanaiste Leo Varadkar with local TD Fergus O'Dowd. (File photo by Andy Spearman.)

The Restart Grant Plus, launched today (Monday) by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar will help businesses in the North East reopen and will help local people get back to work, local Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd has said. 

The Restart Grant Plus Scheme, which gives grants to businesses to help them reopen and get their staff back to work, is a key part of the government’s July Stimulus package, a €7.4bn package of measures designed to stimulate a jobs-led recovery and build economic confidence while continuing to manage the impact of Covid-19.  

“This expanded and improved Restart Grant Plus will see €300m additional funding in addition to the €250m previously committed” Deputy O’Dowd said. 

“The Grant amount has increased substantially. The minimum grant available is now €4,000 up from €2,000 previously.  The maximum grant available is €25,000, a significant increase from €10,000 previously. 

“More businesses could now find themselves eligible for this grant than before, and key Businesses that received a grant under the first scheme can re-apply to receive additional funding. Non-rateable B&Bs, sports clubs with commercial activities and trading charity shops are now eligible. Previously only small companies could apply for this grant but now medium sized companies are also eligible. 

O’Dowd added “I would encourage all of our local companies with up to 250 employees to apply through Louth or Meath County Councils.” 

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has established a Business Support Call Centre for information on the business supports available to businesses and enterprises affected by COVID-19. It can be reached at infobusinesssupport@dbei.gov.ie or (01) 631 2002. 

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said: 

“We must do everything we can to help businesses reopen and get people back to work. We are increasing the Restart Grant Plus, which means that small and medium sized businesses can now get between €4,000 and €25,000 to help them get back on their feet after what has been an exceptionally difficult time. 

“Hairdressers, sports clubs, cafes, restaurants and several other businesses can use this money to help with the costs associated with re-opening and adapting to what is a very different environment. This is just one of several actions the Government is taking as part of the July Stimulus to help businesses.”  

Interested businesses can apply through their local authority, more information available here.

Applications to Fáilte Ireland, who will administer the funding to non-rate paying B&Bs, will open over the coming weeks.

To qualify for a grant, the important criteria are:

  • A business must be commercial and in the local authority rates system (apart from non-rateable B&Bs who can apply to Fáilte Ireland);
  • It must have suffered a 25% loss of expected turnover between 1 April and 30 June 2020;
  • It must have less than 250 employees and turnover less than €25m; 
  • It must declare its intention to re-employ staff in receipt of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme 

Further details about the Restart Grant

  • The grant will be based on the amount of the rates assessment for the premises for 2019 (excluding arrears) with a new minimum grant of €4,000 and a maximum grant of €25,000 (Increased from €2,000 min and €10,000 max).
  • Eligible firms now include medium-sized firms and independent hotels with up to 250 employees, as well as small firms (increased from 50 employees).
  • Businesses impacted by a 25% reduction in turnover will be eligible provided they commit to reopening and to hiring and sustaining employment.
  • A turnover of up to €25m is now allowable, increased from €5m. There is a cap of €100,000 turnover per employee.
  • Commercial sports businesses and trading charity shops in rated premises can now apply for the grant.
  • The hospitality sector, restaurants, pubs, activity centres and tourist attractions, e.g., galleries, museums are eligible if they are operating from a rated premise.
  • B&Bs in non-rated premises will be eligible to apply for the minimum €4,000 grant from Fáilte Ireland.
  • A franchisee which is a financially independent company and is completely separate to the franchisor is eligible to apply.
  • Small company chains can apply if they meet the criteria of <250 employees and €25m turnover in totality across the company and all the branches. 
  • Multinationals are not eligible. Small Irish based subsidiaries with overseas parent companies are not eligible.
  • Large chains that are part of a large group company, i.e. one legal entity with a number of branches, such as fast food, group and multiple supermarkets, group hotels, group betting shops and group pharmacies are not eligible.

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