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Eligibility Criteria for Business Expansion Grant

What is a Business Expansion Grant?

A Business Expansion Grant is designed to assist the business in its growth phase after the initial 18 month start-up period.
The maximum Business Expansion Grant that can be paid is 50% of the investment or €150,000 whichever is less.

Priming Grant and Business Expansion Grants

If a business received a Priming Grant (start-up grant), it cannot apply for a Business Expansion Grant until 12 months after the date of approval of the Priming Grant.

What does the Business Expansion Grant Cover?

A Business Expansion Grant may be paid to buy new equipment, help with direct business costs such as salary, rental costs, utilities, marketing and consultancy  costs. Grant assistance is not payable to buy a building, land or mobile assets.

Grant expenditure may be considered under the following headings:

  • Capital Items – including fit out of workspace, officeequipment, machinery, fixed technology costs, and so on. (Note that the cost of buying or construction of a building and the cost of land and mobile assets including laptops, tablets, smart phones and vehicles areexcluded from grant aid).
  • Salary Costs – for the first year of employment. This money is paid in two instalments. The first instalment is at the start of employment; and the second after 6 months of employment. The level of grant support will reflect the salary scale proposed for the job being generated. Jobs attracting salaries of more than €40,000 will be eligible for the maximum €15,000 grant support. Lower-paid positions will receive a lowergrant. Please note that approved grants are to be used for their intended purposes. If salaries are being supported by the LEO, the detailed job description and contracts for the role need to be forwarded to the LEO before the funds can be drawn down.
  • Consultancy, Innovation, Marketing Costs – these may include packaging, brochures, business cards, trade fairs, website development, consultancy fees and other marketing initiatives.
  • General Overhead Costs – these include, for example:
  1. Utility Costs – these include installation costs for fixed line telephone, broadband and three-phase power (electrical supply with a voltage suitable for businesses).
  2. Rental or Accommodation Costs – for the first year of the enterprise. (Note that if rental space is already subsidised by an investment of public funds, grant support will only make up the differencebetween the subsidy and the market rate.) Rental costs may be paid up front subject to supplying the LEO with a signed lease or rental agreement.

There is an element of refundable aid in Priming Grants (grant money that you have to pay back). The LEO’s Evaluation and Approvals Committee will determine this amount.