Government outlines further measures to support businesses impacted by Covid19

The government has today (Saturday 2 May) agreed, at a special Cabinet meeting, a suite of measures to further support small, medium and larger business that are negatively impacted by COVID-19.

It follows the publication yesterday evening of the government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, which sets out a five stage plan to ease the COVID-19 restrictions and reopen Ireland’s economy and society. The COVID-19 emergency has had an unprecedented impact on our economy, as well as our society. As we begin the phased reopening of our economy, the government recognises that businesses require significant additional supports. Today’s package of measures aims to help our businesses to restart, reconnect and rehire staff who have been laid off or furloughed.

The government has already brought forward a series of measures to support those impacted by this global pandemic. They have included emergency income support such as the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. It is now necessary to introduce a number of additional measures to aid the economy as the COVID-19 restrictions start to be lifted.

Those measures are:

  • a €10,000 restart grant for micro and small businesses based on a rates/waiver rebate from 2019
  • a three month commercial rates waiver for impacted businesses
  • a €2 billion Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund within the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), which will make capital available to medium and large enterprises
  • a €2 billion COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme to support lending to SMEs for terms ranging from 3 months to 6 years, which will be below market interest rates
  • the ‘warehousing’ of tax liabilities for a period of twelve months after recommencement of trading during which time there will be no debt enforcement action taken by Revenue
  • a commitment to local authorities to make up the rates shortfall, so that local authorities can continue provide full services to the public

The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, said:

“COVID-19 has created a world that none of us could have imagined just a few short weeks ago. Our collective public health has been targeted; our businesses, and our economy, have been shouldered with an unimaginable burden; and our society is grappling with this new reality. But, by working together, we are minimising the damage. The hard work of the Irish people has ensured that we are getting to grips with this disease, our people are united in caring for one another under the most extreme of circumstances and our businesses are attempting to adapt to this new and most challenging environment.
“On top of the measures previously put in place by Government, this suite of measures being outlined today is designed to build confidence, further assist businesses in terms of the management of their companies, and allow them to begin looking to the future and start charting a path forward for weeks and months ahead. We will continue to seek the best ways of supporting our people, and wider society, and rebuilding our economy so that we can get people back to work safely. We will do this by being cognisant of official public health advice and doing what is in the best interests of all our people.”

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, said:

“The roadmap announced by Government yesterday outlines a pathway to reopening our economy. This suite of supports represents the next phase in our ongoing response to support businesses through the pandemic and will assist them as they plan for the future.
“We now have a comprehensive suite of supports for firms of all sizes, which includes grants, low-cost loans, write-off of commercial rates and deferred tax liabilities, all of which will help to improve cashflow amongst our SMEs.
“The new €250 million Restart Fund in particular will be a critically important tool to support small businesses in our towns and villages to reopen their doors and get back on their feet with supports of up to €10,000 available.”

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TD, said:

“The commercial rates waiver is an important response from Government. This will provide relief to impacted businesses as well as certainty to local authorities as to their funding.
"Rates alleviation will be complemented by the establishment of a Restart Fund for micro and small businesses which would provide a further €250 million to support ratepayers. The fund, which will provide up to €10,000 per business, will be implemented either through a rebate or waiver scheme based on rates payment for 2019, and will be targeted more widely at micro and small enterprises that have suffered large falls in revenue as a result of the crisis. Details of the scheme will be further developed by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government together with the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.”

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, said:

“I welcome the announcement of the expanded Credit Guarantee Scheme. I have worked with my colleagues to ensure that our primary producers (farmers and fishers) would be included in the new Scheme and I am now happy to confirm that they will. Cashflow and liquidity is a key issue right along the food chain and this Scheme will give confidence to all businesses that assistance will be available when required.”

The further measures to support businesses impacted by COVID-19 in their planning for reopening include:

  • a €2 billion Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund within the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), which will make capital available to medium and large enterprises on commercial terms
  • a €2 billion COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme to support lending to SMEs for terms ranging from 3 months to 6 years, which will be below market interest rates
  • the ‘warehousing’ of tax liabilities for a period of twelve months after recommencement of trading during which time there will be no debt enforcement action taken by Revenue and no interest charge accruing in respect of the warehoused debt
  • the waiving of commercial rates for a three month period beginning on 27 March for businesses that have been forced to close due to public health requirements
  • provision of a Restart Fund for micro and small businesses of €250 million for micro and small enterprises

In addition, Minister Donohoe also welcomed the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland announcement of an extension of payment breaks for businesses and households to 6 months for those requiring assistance which is being provided to bank and non-bank customers impacted by COVID-19.

It is essential that customers fully engage with their lender to avail of these extensions.

These measures, with a value of over €6 billion show Government’s commitment to supporting businesses.

For more information visit gov.ie

For more information on Ireland Strategic Investment fund click here

For more details about revenue, click here

 

Share: