Priming Grant

Priming Grant - For Businesses Trading less than 18 months

A Priming Grant is a business start-up grant, available to micro enterprises within the first 18 months of start-up.

Priming grants may be available for sole traders, partnerships or limited companies that fulfil the following criteria: 

  • Located and operating within Co. Offaly
  • A business which on growth may or may not fit the Enterprise Ireland portfolio
  • A  business employing up to 10 employees
  • A Manufacturing or Internationally traded services business
  • A Domestically traded services business with the potential to trade internationally
  • Need for money and having regard to deadweight and displacement 

Subject to the 50% limit, a maximum grant of up to €15,000 per full time job created shall apply in respect of any employment support grant aided.

In all other cases, the maximum grant shall be 50% of the investment or €80,000 whichever is the lesser.

Grants over €80,000 and up to €150,000 shall be the exception and shall only apply in the case of projects that clearly demonstrate a potential to graduate to Enterprise Ireland and/or to export internationally.

The maximum Priming Grant payable must not exceed 50% of the investment or €150,000 whichever is the lesser.

Expenditure may be considered under the following headings:

  • Capital Items. These include fit out of workspace, equipment, machinery etc (Note acquisition and construction of building and purchase of mobile assets are excluded from grant aid).
  • Salary Costs. For 1st year of employment. This is to be paid out in two instalments. The first instalment at the commencement of employment and the second instalment once the employment has continued in existence for a period of six months. The level of grant support should reflect the salary scale proposed for the employment being generated.  It is anticipated that only quality jobs attracting salaries in excess of €40,000 will be eligible for the maximum €15,000 grant support with appropriately scaled-back grants offered in accordance with the proposed salary for lower-paid positions.
  • Rental/Accommodation Costs. For 1st year of the project. (Note where rental space is already subsidized by an investment of public funds then grant support should reflect the differential between the market rate and subsidised rate).  Rental costs may be paid upfront subject to receipt by the Head of LEO of signed lease/rental agreements
  • Utility Costs. These include installation costs for telephone & broadband. (Note mobile phone costs are excluded)
  • Marketing Costs. These include packaging, brochures, business cards, trade fairs, website design and development, and other marketing initiatives.
  • Consultancy Costs. These include design fees, architects, accountants and legal fees.

The closing date for priming grant applications is the 1st day of each month to be included in the following month's Evaluations & Approvals Committee Meeting (i.e - a full application submitted before the 1st of January will be evaluated at February's Evaluations & Approvals Committee Meeting.)  

Please note there is no meeting in January or August

If you are interested in applying for this grant, please complete the Grant Expression of Interest form

Your completed Grant Expression of Interest Application Form will be reviewed and a member of our team will be in touch within 10 working days to advise if you are eligible to apply for grant funding. 


LEOs can assist in the establishment and/or development of new and existing enterprises (limited company, individuals/sole trader, cooperatives and partnerships) provided that such enterprises/projects are capable of attaining commercial viability and subject to the following eligibility criteria:
  • The enterprise must not employ more than 10 people;
  • The enterprise must be established, registered and operate within the geographic location of the Local Enterprise Office;
  • The enterprise must operate in the commercial sphere;
  • The enterprise must demonstrate a market for the product/service;
  • The enterprise must have the potential for growth in domestic and/or export markets and also potential for new job creation.
Within the above eligibility criteria there are certain priorities and restrictions:
  • Priority must be given to enterprises in the manufacturing or internationally traded services sectors which over time can develop into strong export entities and graduate to the Enterprise Ireland portfolio;
  • Salary support may be offered to unique tourism services projects that are focused predominantly on generating revenues from overseas visitors and which do not give rise to deadweight and/or displacement in the local economy;
  • This grant aid does not support those areas such as retail enterprises, personal services (eg hairdressers, gardeners, creches etc), professional services (accountants, solicitors etc), construction/local building services, as this is considered to give rise to unacceptable deadweight (where the project would have proceeded anyway) and/or displacement (where the projects imply to displace business from other players in the market).
  • The sector of the economy in which an enterprise is operating or intends to operate
  • The size or proposed size of the enterprise
  • Any expenditure incurred, prior to receipt of application form, will not be eligible for grant support.