Good afternoon ,
Yesterday saw the much-awaited publication of the Government's July Stimulus Package. It includes many measures that will help to support struggling businesses and boost the economy, as we outlined in our press release last evening.
We are delighted to see that the Government has taken on board a range of recommendations made by Dublin Chamber, based on your feedback. Since the crisis began, we have been lobbying hard for measures to support businesses, including an extension to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme beyond August, an expanded Restart Grant, a voucher scheme to support the hospitality sector, and warehousing of tax liabilities among others. It is clear that Government is listening to business concerns and we will continue engaging closely with them in the run up to the new National Economic Plan in October.
We would encourage you to read the full July Stimulus Package document by clicking here. We have summarised some of the key wins for business below.
- The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme will be extended beyond August to 31 March 2021. From September it will be reformed as the Employment Wage Support Scheme, a flat-rate subsidy of up to €203 per week per employee, to include seasonal staff and new employees. It will be available to employers whose turnover has fallen by 30%; new firms in impacted sectors will also be eligible.
- Eligibility for the Restart Grant will be expanded to all SMEs with less than 250 employees. The minimum grant will be increased to €4,000 and the maximum to €25,000, while a top up will be available to eligible firms that have already received the grant.
- A €2 billion Credit Guarantee Scheme will provide an 80% guarantee for loans between €10,000 and €1 million to a maximum of 6 years. A €55 million liquidity and investment package will support small and micro companies through MicroFinance Ireland and the LEOs, including measures to reduce interest rates on lending and grants equivalent to 0% interest on the first year of SBCI and MFI loans. Meanwhile, an additional €300 million will be available through the Future Growth Loan Scheme for businesses with up to 499 employees.
- All businesses, with limited exceptions, will be granted a waiver of commercial rates up to the end of September 2020.
- Legislation will be enacted to allow businesses affected by Covid-19 to delay payment of PAYE and VAT in part or in full with no interest or penalties.
- A ‘Stay and Save’ scheme will be introduced under which a €625 spend on accommodation, food, and non-alcoholic drinks will qualify for €125 tax rebate. This will operate through a Revenue-developed app to which customer receipts can be uploaded.
- The main VAT rate will be cut from 23% to 21% from September until February 2021
Be assured that our lobbying efforts will continue in the coming weeks and months. The shock to the economy in recent times has been unprecedented. While this package will go some way to aid recovery, more will be needed as we deal with the aftermath of the lockdown, the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the effects of Brexit.
It is also important that the implementation of the stimulus measures is swift and that any operational problems are highlighted. To that end, we would very much welcome your feedback on the supports announced in the stimulus package, and the challenges that continue to face your business. Please share your views with us by emailing email@example.com.
Dublin Chamber remains here to help you and your business. We are always keen to hear from you, so please keep in touch.
Mary Rose Burke
CEO | Dublin Chamber