Good Evening ,
I want to let you know about two important developments over the past 24 hours which will be of interest to your business. These include information on how to apply for the Government's new Restart Grant and also details of major changes proposed by Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority regarding how people will be able to travel around Dublin post-Covid-19.
Firstly, it was announced today that applications are now being taken for the new Restart Grant, which was announced by Government last week. The Restart Grant aims to help micro and small firms with the costs of re-opening and re-employing staff. Grants of between a minimum of €2,000 and a maximum of €10,000 are being made available for firms (with a turnover of less than €5 million and fewer than 50 staff) who have suffered a projected revenue loss of more than 25% as a result of Covid-19 (between 1st April and 30th June).
Applications for the Restart Grant can be made via Local Authorities. A full listing of all Local Authorities can be found here, including links to the relevant pages dealing with the Grant. Please note, at the time of writing, a number of Local Authority websites are still to be updated, so you may wish to bookmark and click back over the coming days. The closing date for the receipt of applications is the 31st of August 2020.
Dublin Chamber this week expressed concern to the Department of Business Enterprise & Innovation that the requirements for the Restart Grant are overly restrictive. We have again called for the the scheme to be extended to allow all small firms with a turnover of up to €10m and a staff of up to 250 to apply. We will continue to discuss this issue with the Department on the behalf of our micro and SME members.
I also want to draw your attention to the new 'Enabling the City To Return To Work' report, which has been published by Dublin City Council and the NTA. The report sets out a number of changes that the Council intends to implement within the city to allow people to return to work as Covid-19 restrictions are eased. With public transport capacity currently capped at around 20% due to social distancing requirements, among the aims put forward in the plan are a 100% increase in the number of people who opt to walk into the city centre and a 300% increase in the number of people who cycle. The planned interventions include:
- A phased pedestrianisation of College Green
- The relocation of many bus stops to allow for social distancing
- The creation of 14 radial routes that will give priority to pedestrians, cyclists and buses
Dublin Chamber will be meeting with Dublin City Council on Tuesday (26th May) regarding the proposals. We would encourage you to read over the plan and to send us feedback in advance of our meeting. This will allow us to feed any questions or concerns you may have back to Dublin City Council and the NTA.
We would be particularly keen to hear from companies about any changes they are making or considering in order to allow staff to return to the office. We would welcome your feedback on any of the issues raised in this email, or indeed any other issue currently facing your business. It is always good to hear from you.
We will be back in touch next week with an update following our meeting with Dublin City Council.
In the meantime, have an enjoyable weekend.
Mary Rose Burke
CEO | Dublin Chamber