LEO Galway available to help local businesses facing unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic

LEO Galway available to help local businesses facing unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic

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Businesses across Galway are currently in uncharted waters due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Many are facing critical challenges, including temporary ceasing of trading, cash flow and financial difficulties, critical staff continuity options and an uncertain future.

Local Enterprise Office Galway is available to support local businesses in addressing these challenges and help ensure they’re in the strongest position possible in the face of this unprecedented and continuously evolving crisis.

The first step for businesses experiencing cash flow difficulties should always be to open communication with your bank.

All banks have announced they will offer flexibility to customers experiencing difficulties as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak and may be able to provide loan payment holidays or emergency working capital facilities.

Additional cash flow supports can be accessed through Local Enterprise Office Galway:

  • Changes have been made to the MicroFinance Ireland loans available through LEO Galway. The maximum loan available through the programme has been doubled to €50 thousand as an immediate measure to deal with the impact on micro-enterprises.
  • Businesses may also be eligible for a Business Continuity Voucher through LEO Galway. The initiative will provide advisory specialists in fields including finance and HR to help develop a lean, robust business strategy as enterprises face an extended period of great uncertainty. Details of eligibility for this voucher will be published later this week.
  • The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has also put in place a package of business supports – including the Covid-19 Working Capital Loan. This will offer loans of up to €1.5m at reduced rates, with up to the first €500 thousand unsecured. Applications can be made through the SBCI website at www.sbci.gov.ie
  • The Credit Guarantee Scheme is a Government supported product from the banks for small and medium enterprises, providing an 80% guarantee to participating banks. Businesses can apply for loans of up to €1m for terms of up to 7 years from AIB, Bank of Ireland or Ulster Bank. 
  • €200m Package for Enterprise Supports, including a Rescue and Restructuring Scheme, is available through Enterprise Ireland. This is targeted at firms identified as being vulnerable but viable, that need to restructure or transform their business to overcome the challenges presented by Covid-19.
  • A Finance in Focus grant of €7,200 will is also available to Enterprise Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta clients, to enable them to access consultancy support to undertake immediate finance reviews.

Businesses are also being advised to be mindful of the supports available from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

These include a refund scheme to allow employers who have temporarily ceased trading to continue paying employees a rate of €203 per week, to allow them to retain links with staff and prevent the need to submit jobseekers claims. The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment has also been introduced for the self-employed who have lost business, or those who have been laid off as a result of the pandemic. Those eligible will be entitled to a six-week flat payment of €203 without having to attend an INTREO office.

Generally, a full range of supports are available through Local Enterprise Office Galway, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta to help businesses develop robust plans for financial stability and efficient trading in the face of unprecedent challenges presented by Covid-19.

While all upcoming training events and face to face meetings have been postponed in the interest of public safety, Local Enterprise Office Galway remains open to assist local businesses with any queries they may have during this difficult time. 

Experts are available to assist with all queries at 091 509090, or through email at info@leo.galwaycoco.ie.

 

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