Business Expansion Grants

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.

Who can apply for a Business Expansion Grant?

Micro enterprises (Limited Companies, Designated Activity Companies, sole traders, co-operatives and partnerships) can apply for a Business Expansion Grant to help them to expand the business after the first 18 months of trading.

The maximum Business Expansion Grant that can be paid is 50% of the investment or €150,000 whichever is less.

Grants between €80,000 and €150,000 are the exception. Only enterprises that clearly demonstrate a potential to graduate to Enterprise Ireland can be awarded grants of this size. In all other cases, the maximum grant is 50% of the investment or €80,000 – 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. An exception to this might be made in cases of exceptional merit where less than the maximum Priming Grant was drawn down and provided the rules of ‘De Minimis aid’ are respected. De Minimis aid is small amounts of State aid
granted to enterprises.

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, office equipment, 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 and smart phones are excluded 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 six 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 lower grant. 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 difference between 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 Business Expansion Grants (grant money that you have to pay back). The LEO’s Evaluation and Approvals Committee will determine this amount.

How do I apply for the grant?

If you want to apply for a Business Expansion Grant, you need to contact your local LEO. They will assess your eligibility. Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis and the level of funding will be decided after the assessment. The assessment will examine:

  • The merits of providing grant support to your proposal;
  • Your need for financial support;
  • Any previous funding you have received;
  • The availability of funding;
  • The potential for employment and sales growth.

Any individual or business who wishes to apply must submit a completed signed Business Expansion Grant application form along with the following:

  • A CV (for the main applicant),
  • Quotations for the key costs,
  • 3 quotes for any item of expenditure over €5,000. (For any expenditure item costing less than €5,000, one verbal quote is required.); and
  • the most recent set of certified accounts (in the case of existing businesses).

Please make sure your application form is completed in full.

Please contact LEO Louth to discuss your interest in applying for this support on 1890 202 303

 

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