Head of Enterprise Updates

Head of Enterprise Covid19 Updates

New supports are being announced regularly. To help you with some practicalities and to keep you informed of the evolving situation we will continue to provide updates. See below most recent updates and supports available.

Update 10th August 2020 >> Restart Grant PLUS

On Monday 10th August, The Restart Grant Plus scheme was announced by  by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. This support gives grants to businesses to help them reopen their premises and get back to work. 

Grants of between €4,000 up to a maximum of €25,000 are available. To qualify for the scheme, enterprises must have:

  • 250 employees or less;
  • Turnover of less than €100,000 per employee; and
  • Reduced turnover by 25% as a result of COVID-19

Those that accessed funding through the previous round of the scheme are eligible to apply for a second top-up payment to a total combined value of the revised maximum grant level.

How to apply

This support is administered by the Kildare County Council Finance Department.

Details of how you can apply for this support are available here >>

Restart Grant PLUS FAQs - Everything you need to know

Full details of grant amounts and revised qualifying criteria can be viewed on the Restart Grant Plus FAQ document HERE.

Update Friday 7th August 2020 >> A note from the Head of Enterprise Jacqui McNabb

Our Kildare business owners,

It is with sadness that I write to you this evening in light of the new regional Covid-19 restrictions.  

As we know too well, the ongoing pandemic has left many businesses in Kildare facing challenging and strenuous times.

The last six months has proven the strength, resilience, innovation and courage of the business owners and communities across our county.

I understand this is again a worrying time for you and your business, but you are not on your own. Our priority remains to support the Kildare business community.

The Kildare Local Enterprise Office continues to provide business advice and mentorship free of charge to assist and guide you through these difficult times.

Contact us on 045 980838 or via email at localenterprise@kildarecoco.ie, and visit our website localenterprise.ie/kildare to see our full level of supports available to you.

We will continue to fight this battle together by staying apart.

Stay safe,


Jacqui McNabb

Head of Enterprise, Kildare County Council

Government Update 7th August 2020 full publication here >> 

Update 29th June  >> Enterprise Support Grant

On Friday 29th June, The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection has announced that the Enterprise Support Grant will be made available to assist self-employed recipients who are exiting the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) scheme. This will provide owners with a once-off grant of up to €1,000 to re-start their business. A fund of €12m has been allocated for the extension of this grant. Full article here >>


This grant is being distributed by the Department of Social Protection. You must contact the INTREO office and they will be able to provide more information about how you can apply.

Contact details are available here.

Update Friday 19th June >> Accelerated COVID 19 Roadmap

>> On Friday 19th June, there was a further update from the Taoiseach regarding acceleration of the COVID 19 Roadmap. The following businesses were announced as being able to reopen from Monday 29th June. See full publication here >>  

Businesses that can reopen:

  • wellbeing services - for example: chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture, reflexology and homoeopathy
  • hairdressers, barbers, nail and brow salons, beauty salons, spas, make-up application services, tanning, tattooing and piercing services
  • driving schools
  • all remaining retail (for example, bookmakers), services and commercial activities

Compliance with work protocols and health guidance will be monitored by State agencies.

Main Business Supports:

    • Wage Subsidy Scheme remains in place (WSS Scheme  - rebate of 70-85% of workers’ wages may be rebated)
    • COVID Layoff Scheme remains in place (though modified to account for those who were earning under €200 and those earning over €200 prior to the scheme)
    • COVID Restart grant is available through the Local Authorities. The grant will be between €2,000 and €10,000 dependent on qualification and rates paid in 2019. Click here >> 
    • COVID Business Mentoring/ training and grant aid remain active Click here >>


REMINDER: KEY ITEMS for businesses to have in order

  • Safety Statement & Risk Assessment
  • Covid Detection & Response Plan
  • Details of all new SOPS – Operating Procedures for Staff and Customers
  • Contact Logging Sheet
  • Temperature log
  • Return to Work Questionnaire for Staff (send 3 days before return)
  • Covid Re-Induction as staff return
  • Hygiene, Infection Prevention & Control Measures
  • Signage & Physical Distancing Measures
  • Decisions on use of PPE
  • Capacity and Access Management
  • NOTE: We are providing specialised programmes in HR, Health and Saftey, and for training Covid19 champions. See our bookings page >> 

Update Friday 5th June >> COVID19 Roadmap


>> On Friday 5th June, there was a significant update from the Taoiseach regarding acceleration of the COVID 19 Roadmap.

Reopening of:

    • The retail sector can reopen on Monday 8th June (subject to businesses being able to demonstrate compliance – Controls, Risk Assessments etc)
    • Shopping Centres can open on Monday June 15th
    • Hospitality Sector can open on Monday 29th June
    • Creches can open for essential workers and those who cannot work from home on the Monday 29th June and the remainder on Monday 20th July
    • Pubs that sell food will be permitted to open on Monday 29th June (subject to businesses being able to demonstrate compliance – Controls, Risk Assessments etc)
    • All other pubs can open on Monday 20th July, rather than the previous 10th August date (subject to businesses being able to demonstrate compliance – Controls, Risk Assessments etc)
    • Hairdressing/Beauty industry to remain closed until Monday 20th July as deemed to be a high-risk sector (this is under review)
    • Organised outdoor exercise, sporting, cultural or social activities of up to 15 people may take place

Update Friday 15th May >> Restart Grant

On Friday 15th May, the Government approved details of the Restart Grant. This grant is being delivered through the Local Authorities directly. You can make an application for this support through the Kildare County Council website here.

Update Saturday 9th May >> Return to Work Safely Protocol

On Saturday 9th May,  Minister Heather Humphreys launched The Return to Work Safely Protocol which is designed to support employers and workers to put measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. You can view the Return to Work Safely Protocol document on Gov.ie here. 

Update Friday 1st May >> Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business

On Friday 1st May, The government published a Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business to ease the COVID-19 restrictions and reopen Ireland’s economy and society in a phased manner. For details of this recent announcement and to see this roadmap, you can view the publication on Gov.ie here.

Update Wednesday 8th April >> Expansion of Local Enterprise Office Supports

On Wednesday 8th April, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, announced a major expansion of supports for businesses impacted by COVID-19, including an expansion of the Trading Online Voucher Scheme and a reduction in the interest rate for Microfinance Ireland loans Read full article here>>> 

Local Enterprise Office Kildare - Supports

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has left many businesses in Kildare facing into an uncertain future. Many businesses are facing critical challenges, including temporary ceasing of trading, cash flow and financial difficulties, critical staff continuity options and an uncertain future.

The Local Enterprise Office in Kildare is available to support local businesses in addressing these challenges and is on hand to ensure they are 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 measures which 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 your Local Enterprise Office Kildare:

  • Changes have been made to the MicroFinance Ireland loans available through LEO Kildare. The maximum loan available through the programme has been doubled to up to €50,000 as an immediate measure to deal with the impact on micro-enterprises. The interest rate for loans has been reduced from 6.8% to 4.5%.
  • The Trading Online Voucher provides funding of up to €2,500 towards improving online training capabilities. 

    Due to unprecedented levels of applications in Kildare, the Trading Online Voucher Scheme is currently over-subscribed. Unfortunately, no new applications under the scheme can be accepted or processed at this time by Local Enterprise Office Kildare.The scheme is funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) and a decision from DCCAE regarding resourcing is pending. Alternatively, we have developed an initiative that will provide Kildare businesses with the opportunity to make the move to online sales in a free of charge, quick and user-friendly way. Our new online Kildare eCommerce platform, Shop County Kildare.

  • Over 700 Kildare businesses have availed of a Business Continuity Voucher. The initiative provided 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. Applications for this support closed on Friday 15th May.

  • We have also launched a range of online interactive training programmes to support businesses through COVID 19. The courses are free to our clients and places are limited. These courses will all be delivered online via a web link. Click here to see what courses are available.

  • The Kildare Local Enterprise Office continues to provide business advice and mentorship free of charge. Click here to apply for business mentoring.

Other Government Supports:

  • The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has 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 the first €500,000 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.

Covid 19 Unemployment Payment

Full breakdown of information available here

Wage subsidy scheme - UPDATE >> 15th April

On 15 April 2020, changes to the Wage Subsidy Scheme were announced. These changes will take effect from 4 May.

  • The subsidy will increase from 70% to 85% for employees with a previous average take home pay below €412 per week
  • The subsidy will be €350 per week for employees with a previous average take home pay between €412 and €500 per week
  • The subsidy remains the same for employees with a previous average take home pay of between €500 and €586 per week
  • A tiered system has been introduced for employees with a previous average take home pay of over €586 and less than €960 per week
  • Employees who were taking home more than €960 per week will be able to avail of the scheme (this change applies from 16 April)

You do not need to re-apply if you have already applied for the Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme. 

You can make payroll submissions from 26 March 2020 under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme arrangements on the same basis as for the Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme, and €410 will be refunded for each eligible employee per week.

You will then be reimbursed for amounts paid to employees and notified to Revenue through the payroll process. In general, this will be made within 2 working days after receipt of the payroll submission.

The Revenue Commissioners have urged anyone thinking of rehiring employees to do so before May 4th as it will make the administration of the scheme much easier for them. For businesses who have already availed of the scheme, Revenue may have overpaid the subsidy that the actual business is entitled to. Details of both the reconciliation process and the process for employers to follow when returning excess Wage Subsidy Scheme funds to Revenue will be published in due course. The Revenue have published how the excess subsidy should be repaid and the  banking details on their latest FAQ’s located at www.revenue.ie

Full details on the Wage Subsidy Scheme here:


Deferral of rates

The government has agreed with local authorities that they should defer rates payments due from the most immediately affected businesses, primarily in the retail, hospitality, leisure and childcare sectors, until the end of May.

Businesses are also being advised to be mindful of the supports available from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/4cf0e2-covid-19-coronavirus-information-for-employers-and-employees-test/

A full range of supports are available through Local Enterprise Office Kildare, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and 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 Kildare remains open to assist local businesses with any queries they may have during this difficult time. 

Experts are available to assist with all your queries at 045 980838 or via email at localenterprise@kildarecoco.ie

Please click here for further details on Government supports for COVID-19 impacted businesses