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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case IE-2020-15/1018 – measures in Ireland

Enterprise Ireland/IDA Sustaining Enterprise Scheme

Country Ireland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 08 April 2020
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound
Case created 24 July 2020 (updated 10 May 2021)

Background information

Support of up to €800,000 can be provided to companies who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The objectives of the fund are to: ensure eligible companies have access to necessary liquidity in the short-term; and sustain the business so that the company can return to viability and contribute to the recovery of the Irish economy.

Total of €180 million available in the fund.

Content of measure

Funding from €100,000, up to €800,000, is available to eligible companies which: employ 10 or more full-time employees, are operating in the manufacturing and internationally traded service sectors, have seen (or expect to see) a 15% or greater reduction in actual or projected turnover or profit, or a significant increase in costs, as a result of COVID-19 health crisis.

The Sustaining Enterprise Fund will be used to support the implementation of a Sustaining Enterprise Project Plan which should be provided by the company outlining the eventual stabilisation of the business and a return to viability.

Funding will be provided for a five-year period, using the following instruments: repayable advances, grant aid, equity or loan note. Funding provided will comprise a combination of repayable and non-repayable support. Up to 50% of the funding provided will be non-repayable, with maximum non-repayable support of €200,000.

The scheme is not open to:

  • Medium and large undertakings (employing more than 50 people and with turnover >€10m annually) who were in financial difficulty on 31 December 2019.
  • Those who are active in the primary agricultural, fishery or aquaculture sectors.
  • Those operating in the coal and steel sector, or were covered by specific rules for Financial Services.

Use of measure

As of July 22, 2020, 148 applications were being developed, 51 were received and 19 were approved, drawing down €7.9 million.

The scheme was approved by the European Commission under EU state aid rules.

According to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment: As of 31 December 2020, 579 applications were received with a total value of €135.70 million.

According to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment: 772 application forms were issued. As of 5 March 2021, 596 applications were received and 430 were approved with a total value of €151.63 million.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers SMEs
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement Informed
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Only employers' organisations
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


The Ibec employer body likely to have been informed about the scheme - unions not involved.

Views and reactions

Ibec likely to have welcomed the scheme.



Eurofound (2020), Enterprise Ireland/IDA Sustaining Enterprise Scheme, case IE-2020-15/1018 (measures in Ireland), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.