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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

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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-2021-1/1780 Updated – measures in Ireland

COVID-19 Business Aid Scheme (CBAS) targets businesses ineligible for other supports

Country Ireland , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 January 2021 – 30 June 2021
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 February 2021 (updated 23 July 2021)

Background information

In February the Government announced a new scheme for businesses, such as wholesalers, caterers and event suppliers who have been ineligible for the COVID Restriction Support Scheme (CRSS) and other sector specific grants. The scheme is called the COVID-19 Business Aid Scheme (CBAS).

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar said: “The government has sought to help as many businesses as possible through wage subsidies and the many different grant and loan schemes we have put in place. A new Scheme, the CBAS, will help some businesses that aren’t eligible for existing grants, largely due to the fact that the premises they operate from have not been closed to the public. We estimate that this will help approximately 7,500 businesses. While the grant is modest it will be of substantial assistance to smaller businesses with some of their fixed costs like rent, utilities and security. For example, wholesalers, suppliers, caterers, office-based businesses and events companies down 75% or more in turnover will qualify. We are finalising the details and it will be open for applications shortly.”

Content of measure

The COVID-19 Business Aid Scheme (CBAS) is available to companies, self-employed, sole traders or partnerships.

To be eligible they must have a minimum turnover of €50,000.

In addition, the following must apply:

  • not owned and operated by a public body
  • the business is not eligible for CRSS or Fáilte Ireland Business Continuity Scheme
  • operate from a building, or similar fixed physical structure on which business rates are payable
  • turnover is down 75% based on average weekly turnover of the business in 2019
  • the business intends to resume trading in full once government restrictions are eased

In May eligibility was extended to include businesses operating from a non-rateable premises such as a home office or hot-desk.

The scheme covers the period 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021. Each eligible applicant will receive a payment of €4,000 with an additional payment of €4,000 from May 2021.


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

18 June 2021

In May eligibility was extended to include businesses operating from a non-rateable premises such as a home office or hot-desk.

Use of measure

It is estimated that the grant will help approximately 7,500 businesses.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Solo-self-employed
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



Views and reactions

In February, the Small Firms Association (part of the employer group Ibec) called on the Government to launch more details of the scheme “before small businesses ineligible for other COVID business supports are forced to close and jobs are lost”.


  • 09 February 2021: Government €160m boost to COVID-19 business grants (
  • 24 February 2021: Government must launch details of Covid-19 Business Aid Scheme (
  • 11 March 2021: Tánaiste opens applications for Phase 1 of €8,000 grant under new Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID (SBASC) (
  • 18 May 2021: Tánaiste extends eligibility of Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID (SBASC) (


Eurofound (2021), COVID-19 Business Aid Scheme (CBAS) targets businesses ineligible for other supports, case IE-2021-1/1780 (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.