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Factsheet for case IE-2020-21/940 Updated – measures in Ireland

Grant for restarting small businesses introduced

COVID-19 Restart Grant

Country Ireland , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 22 May 2020 – 31 October 2020
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Supporting businesses to get back to normal
– Measures to support a gradual relaunch of work
Author Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound
Case created 07 July 2020 (updated 10 May 2021)

Background information

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation launched a restart grant for small businesses.

The €250 million Restart Grant provides direct grant aid to micro and small businesses to help with the costs associated with reopening and reemploying workers following COVID-19 closures.

The grant is the equivalent to the rates bill of the business in 2019, with a minimum payment of €2,000 and a maximum payment of €10,000.

Scheme applies to small businesses with a turnover of under €5 million and employing 50 people or less.

The business must have suffered a projected 25%+ loss in revenue from 1st April 2020 to 30th June 2020.

Companies apply through their local authority.

Content of measure

Support Available The €250 million Restart Grant provides direct grant aid to micro and small businesses to help with the costs associated with reopening and reemploying workers following COVID-19 closures.

The grant is the equivalent to the rates bill of the business in 2019, with a minimum payment of €2,000 and a maximum payment of €10,000.

Eligibility Criteria Any business (subject to qualifying criteria) that has a commercially rateable premises, or where rates are paid on behalf and attributable to the business premises.

Scheme applies to small businesses with a turnover of under €5m and employing 50 people or less.

Non-Eligible Business Multiple chain stores, i.e. a business that is a non-financially independent branch of a group of chain stores which is owned and managed by a single entity.

Non-commercial organisations such as community and sporting premises (including charity shops and community and sporting premises with a bar).

Businesses that do not operate from rateable premises (tradesmen, service providers, etc). Premises that were vacant prior to the Covid-19 emergency.

Qualifying Criteria for Grant A business must have a turnover of less than €5 million and have 50 or less employees.

  • The business must have suffered a projected 25%+ loss in revenue to 30 June 2020.
  • The business must commit to remain open or to reopen if it was closed.
  • The business must also declare the intention to retain employees that are benefiting from the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

12 November 2020

As tightened restrictions were introduced from October 2020 the Government announced a 30% top up to the Restart Grant for businesses impacted by the level 3 and tighter restrictions.

This brought the new minimum to €5,200 and the new maximum to €32,500. Those that applied and received a grant previously, can receive the top up of 30%.

Use of measure

According to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment:

  • For the first call for the grant 56,892 applications were received. Of these, 48,704 were approved with a total value of €188.81m.
  • For the ‘Restart Grant Plus’, as of 5 March 2021, 63,599 applications were approved with a total value of €445.24m.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers SMEs
One person or microenterprises
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Local / regional government
Local funds
National funds

Social partners

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

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

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A

Involvement

No involvement.

Views and reactions

Employers organisation Ibec has called on the Government to significantly improve the Restart Grant: increase the fund to over €1 billion, including a flat rate payment of €15,000 per company to match the German and UK schemes and remove the link to the rates system which disqualifies many smaller operators.

Sources

  • 15 May 2020: Government approves details of Restart Grant for small businesses (merrionstreet.ie)
  • 22 June 2020: COVID-19 Restart Grant from your Local Authority (dbei.gov.ie)
  • 23 June 2020: Ibec CEO Update: Sustaining distressed SMEs (www.ibec.ie)
  • 07 July 2020: Government supports for COVID-19 impacted businesses (dbei.gov.ie)
  • 18 September 2020: Government here for impacted Dublin business (www.gov.ie)
  • 20 October 2020: All remaining counties to join Donegal and Dublin on Level 3 under Ireland’s Plan for Living with COVID-19 (www.gov.ie)
  • 31 December 2020: COVID-19 and Brexit Business Supports Tracker (enterprise.gov.ie)
  • 05 March 2021: COVID-19 and Brexit Business Supports Tracker (enterprise.gov.ie)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Grant for restarting small businesses introduced, case IE-2020-21/940 (measures in Ireland), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

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