Eligibility Criteria

EDRF logo for priming

How do Local Enterprise Offices help businesses financially?

Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) can help to:

establish and develop new and existing enterprises provided that the enterprise is capable of becoming commercially viable. These financial supports include:

  •  Priming Grants
  •  Business Expansion Grants
  •  Feasibility Study Grants

These financial supports are designed to provide a flexible suite of supports to LEO clients and potential clients. LEOs can assist in the establishment and development of new and existing enterprises (Limited Companies, Designated Activity Companies, sole traders, cooperatives and partnerships) provided that such enterprises are capable of becoming commercially viable.

There are also other criteria to be met and these are listed in the bullet points below.

The enterprise must:

  •  not employ more than 10 people;
  •  be established, registered and operate within the area of the Local Enterprise Office;
  •  operate in the commercial field;
  •  show that there is a market for the product or service;
  •  have the potential for growth in domestic or export markets; and
  •  have potential for job creation.

Within the above criteria, there are certain priorities and restrictions. For example, priority will be given to:

  • only enterprises in the manufacturing or internationally traded services sectors which, over time, can develop into strong export entities and graduate to Enterprise Ireland;
  • unique tourism services enterprises that target generating revenue from overseas visitors. These tourism services should not take business from other existing players in the market or give rise to dead-weight (where projects would have proceeded anyway). Such unique tourism services may be offered salary supports.

With regard to restrictions, retail enterprises, personal services (such as hairdressers, gardeners, creches, and so on), professional services (such as accountants, solicitors) or construction and local building services are not eligible for grant aid. Any costs incurred before you apply are not eligible for grant support.

Eligible costs

Financial Supports may cover business costs directly attributable to starting a new business or growing and development of a business, or for carrying out a Feasibility study.

Amount of Grant Aid

Overall, the total grant paid to an eligible enterprise must not exceed €150,000 over a three-year period. All grant payments will be subject to the enterprises reaching agreed business targets as set out in their business plans. The enterprises must also be in compliance with the conditions of the Letter of Offer they receive from their LEO.