COVID - 19 EMERGENCY BUSINESS ADVICE

COVID - 19 EMERGENCY BUSINESS ADVICE
Avail of 2 hours 1 to 1 phone / Video conference advisory session on challenges facing your business in the the onset of the COVID 19 virus crisis in Ireland.
The following advice has been issued.
Statement by An Taoiseach
The following measures will come into effect until 29 March:
  • schools, colleges and childcare facilities will close from March 13th
  • indoor mass gatherings of 100 people or more and outdoor mass gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled
  • all State-run cultural institutions will close
  • Where it is possible to work remotely people should do so.
  • Public transport will continue and shops will continue to remain open. Mr Varadkar said we need the public and businesses to take a sensible approach.
In relation to other supports for business the following currently apply.  Please note that this may change day by day as this crisis evolves.
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has put a range of supports in place and we encourage clients to access available supports to help navigate these uncertain times.
·         A €200m Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) Working Capital scheme for eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19. Loans of up to €1.5m will be available at reduced rates, with up to the first €500,000 unsecured. Applications can be made through the SBCI website 
·         A €200m Package for Enterprise Supports including a Rescue and Restructuring Scheme available through Enterprise Ireland for vulnerable but viable firms that need to restructure or transform their business.
·         The maximum loan available from MicroFinance Ireland will be increased from €25,000 to €50,000 as an immediate measure to specifically deal with exceptional circumstances that micro-enterprises – (sole traders and firms with up to 9 employees) – are facing. Applications can be made through the MFI website  or through your local LEO. (If you go through your local LEO you qualify for a 1% discount on the interest rate)
·         The Credit Guarantee Scheme will be available to COVID-19 impacted firms through the Pillar Banks. Loans of up to €1m will be available at terms of up to 7 years.
The following supports are available for firms experiencing trading difficulties and short-term shocks:
·         The Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection and the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation will provide a joint First Responder support service through the Intreo Offices and development agencies, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland in each region to provide tailored supports for impacted firms, with objective of avoiding mass lay-offs and buying time for firms to work through the short-term disruptions.
·         Firms that need to reduce hours or days worked can avail of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Short Term Work Support by contacting their local Intreo Office, see https://www.gov.ie/en/service/c20e1b-short-time-work-support/
West Cork - John Lyne( John.Lyne@welfare.ie) covers west cork including Carrigaline and Tracie Williams (Tracie.Williams@welfare.ie )covers North Cork. Clients in those areas need to reach out to those managers for advice re the process in the county areas.
For employer advice you can also contact the Workplace Relations Commission at 1890 130 023 or www.workplacerelations.ie
·         The full range of Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Local Enterprise Office and Údarás na Gaeltachta grant supports will be available to firms to help with strategies to innovate, diversify markets and supply chains and to improve competitiveness.
·         Local Enterprise Offices in Cork will be providing vouchers from €2,500 up to €10,000 (with 50:50 match funding) to support business continuity preparedness, innovation and productivity. (Full details of this scheme are not yet available)

For employees:

A suite of supports has been announced to give greater support to employees and self-employed. 
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection are introducing measures to provide income support to people affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
3 major changes have been announced:
·         the current 6-day waiting period for Illness Benefit will not apply to anyone who has COVID-19 (Coronavirus) or is in medically-required self-isolation
·         the personal rate of Illness Benefit will increase from €203 per week to €305 per week for a maximum of 2 weeks medically-required self-isolation or for the full duration of absence from work following a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
·         the normal social insurance requirements for Illness Benefit will be changed or the means test for Supplementary Welfare Allowance will be removed
You can access public health advice about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) at the government’s information page.
Eligibility
Open to all businesses
 

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