Good Evening ,
The Taoiseach has announced this evening that the first phase of lifting Covid-19 restrictions will begin on Monday - as scheduled under the Government's reopening plan. This is a welcome step and provides a reason for optimism as we head in to the weekend.
We all know that the road to recovery, both for society and business, will be long, but this is an important first step.
It was encouraging also today to see the Government announce details of a new Restart Grant, which aims to to assist micro and small businesses in getting back up and running.
We are pleased to see that the Government heeded Dublin Chamber's recommendation for the Restart Grant not to be based purely on the amount of commercial rates paid by a firm. Instead, a minimum of €2,000 will be available to all successful applicants.
However, the grant is more restrictive than we would have liked to see, with only firms with a turnover of less than €5m able to apply. As we state in our press release, which was sent to media this evening, we would like to see this cut-off increased to €10m to allow all companies considered to be a small business (under the EU definition) to apply.
The main details of the Restart Grant are as follows:
- Direct grant aid is available of between a minimum of €2,000 and a maximum of €10,000, based on a firm's commercial rates bill from 2019.
- The scheme applies to small businesses with a turnover of under €5 million and employing 50 people or less.
- The scheme opens for applications on Friday 22 May through the Local Authorities.
- Firms must have been closed or impacted by at least a 25% reduction in turnover out to 30th June 2020.
- The scheme is intended as a contribution towards the cost of re-opening or keeping a business operational and re-connecting with employees and customers.
Further details on the Restart Grant are available here.
We would welcome any feedback you have on the scheme, to help inform the on-going dialogue that the Chamber is having with Government in relation to Covid-19 and the supports needed by businesses. It is always good to hear from you.
We will be back in touch next week with further updates on our Covid-19 support programme, including details of some very exciting webinars we have coming up with key civil servants and political figures.
In the meantime, I'd like to wish you an enjoyable weekend.
Mary Rose Burke
CEO | Dublin Chamber