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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-2020-38/1155 – measures in Ireland

New assistance fund to support microenterprises

Micro-Enterprise Assistance Fund

Country Ireland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 14 September 2020
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial)
Author Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound
Case created 18 September 2020 (updated 11 January 2021)

Background information

Funding for micro-enterprises which have not been eligible for other COVID-19 support grants. The total fund is €2 million and grants are up to €1,000, so about 2,000 businesses are to benefit. The launch event for the scheme to place in County Kildare, which was subject to a localised increase in public health restrictions during August - although the scheme is available nationally.

Content of measure

Grants of up to €1,000 available to micro-enterprises (defined as those with at least one and up to 10 full-time employees), which have been impacted by a 30% reduction in turnover due to COVID-19 restrictions or downturn in trade.

The grant is based on the amount of additional vouched expenditure from September 14th, 2020 and is confined to those with a commercial focus, with an up to date tax compliance certificate and within eligible sector (exclude gambling, coal and steel etc). They must be businesses which are not eligible for other state sectoral funding schemes.

The total fund is €2 million, so it is expected that about 2,000 businesses will benefit.

Use of measure

According to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment: 425 applications were received. As of 31 December 2020, 195 were approved with a total value of €183,079.

Target groups

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


Social partners not involved - the fund is a national government initiative.

Views and reactions

No views recorded or expressed.


  • 14 September 2020: Tánaiste announces additional funding for small businesses Up to 2,000 businesses nationwide eligible (
  • 31 December 2020: COVID-19 and Brexit Business Supports Tracker (


Eurofound (2020), New assistance fund to support microenterprises, case IE-2020-38/1155 (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.