As the funding supports and schemes available to help SMEs through this Covid period are changing all of the time, below is an updated list of some of the current supports and loans available which includes links to the respective websites / applications, which may be of some assistance when discussing with clients.
Also attached is an updated Funding Supports Matrix which has been uploaded to the website and shared on social media.
Grants, Schemes & Vouchers
COVID Restrictions Support Scheme: The COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) offers support to businesses forced to close or trade at significantly reduced levels as a result of restrictions imposed on them in response to COVID-19. CRRS is equal to 10% of the average weekly turnover of the business in 2019 up to €20,000, plus 5% of turnover over €20,000. Eligible businesses can make a claim to Revenue for a payment known as an Advance Credit for Trading Expenses (ACTE). An ACTE is payable for each week a business is affected by the restrictions. The ACTE is subject to a maximum weekly payment of €5,000.
Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID: The Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID (SBASC) is a grant designed for businesses that are not eligible for the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), the Fáilte Ireland Business Continuity grant or other direct sectoral grant schemes. Applications should be made to Local Authorities by the closing date 21st April 2021. Eligible businesses will receive a payment of €4,000 for the first quarter of 2021. A decision on the second quarter 2021 will be made in due course. Rate paying businesses including wholesalers, suppliers and caterers down 75% or more in turnover will benefit from this grant.
Tourism Business Continuity Scheme: The new €55 million Tourism Business Continuity Scheme will support those tourism businesses that were not eligible for the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) payment or previous Fáilte Ireland continuity grant schemes. Eligibility criteria includes the following: downturn in turnover as a result of COVID-19 where the average monthly turnover in the 4-month period October 2020 – January 2021 must be down at least 75% compared to the average monthly turnover for the period January to December 2019; Have a minimum eligible turnover of €50,000 in 2019. Phase One of the Scheme is closed. Phase 2 of the Scheme is due to be launched in March 2021.
Enterprise Support Grant: The Enterprise Support Grant for businesses impacted by COVID-19 is available for eligible self-employed people who closed their COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment on or after 18 May 2020. This will provide business owners with a once-off grant of up to €1,000 to restart their business which was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trading Online Voucher: The Local Enterprise Office Trading Online Voucher is a government grant scheme, designed to assist small businesses with up to 10 employees. It offers financial assistance of up to €2,500 along with training and advice to help your business trade online. Businesses that have already received a Trading Online Voucher can apply for a second voucher, where upgrades are required.
COVID-19 Business Financial Planning Grant: The COVID-19 Business Financial Planning Grant, worth up to €5,000, is designed to help companies to develop a robust financial plan, including the preparation of documentation required to support applications for external finance from banks and/or other finance providers. The grant is a new support for Enterprise Ireland clients and those manufacturing or internationally traded services companies that employ 10 or more full time employees. Final date for applications is 12 noon, 15th June, 2021.
Cross-border companies: InterTradeIreland’s Emergency Business Solutions offers professional advice, to the value of €2,250, to address key business challenges related to COVID-19. The E-Merge programme provides €2,800 consultancy support to help cross-border businesses develop online sales and eCommerce solutions.
COVID-19 Products Scheme: The COVID-19 Products Scheme facilitates the research and development of COVID products, to enable the construction or upgrading of testing and upscaling infrastructures that contribute to the development COVID-19 relevant products, as well as to support the production of products needed to respond to the outbreak. The scheme is delivered through IDA Ireland’s COVID-19 supports and Enterprise Ireland’s COVID-19 Business Response.
Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme: The Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme, delivered by SOLAS, provides financial support for apprenticeship employers who take on apprentices on national apprenticeship programmes. Apprenticeship employers are eligible for a €3,000 payment for each new apprentice.
General grant supports: The full range of Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Local Enterprise Office and Údarás na Gaeltachta grant supports continue to be available to eligible firms to help with strategies to access finance, commence or ramp-up online trading activity, reconfigure business models, cut costs, innovate, diversify markets and supply chains and to improve competitiveness.
COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme: The COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme facilitates up to €2 billion in lending to eligible businesses. Loans under the Scheme range from €10,000 to €1 million, for terms of up to five and a half years. Financing will be offered through a range of products, including term loans, working capital loans and overdrafts. Loans of up to €250,000 under the Scheme are available unsecured (except where this is a requirement of the product feature, as in the case of asset finance, invoice discount facilities, etc). The Scheme is operated by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) through participating finance providers. Available until 30th June 2021 with BOI, AIB & UB.
COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme: The SBCI COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme for eligible businesses supports loans from €25,000 up to €1.5 million (first €500,000 unsecured) with a maximum interest rate of 4%. Applications can be made through the SBCI website at sbci.gov.ie. Eligibility criteria apply. Still available with BOI, AIB & UB until 31st March.
Future Growth Loan Scheme: The enhanced Future Growth Loan Scheme makes up to €800m of loans available for terms of 7-10 years. This scheme is available to eligible businesses in Ireland, including those in the primary agriculture (farmers) and seafood sectors, to support strategic long-term investment. Fully subscribed in AIB, BOI, PTSB & UB. Still available with KBC & Close Brothers.
Sustaining Enterprise Fund: The Sustaining Enterprise Fund is specifically aimed at companies operating in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors, with 10 or more full-time people on their payroll on the 29th of February 2020 who have seen a 15% reduction in actual or projected turnover/profit, or a significant increase in costs due to Covid. The fund is operated by Enterprise Ireland with amounts between €100,000 and €800,000 available to eligible companies. The fund includes a 50% non-repayable grant element, up to a limit of €200,000.
Microfinance Ireland COVID-19 Business Loans: COVID-19 Business Loans from €5,000 to €25,000 are available to micro-enterprises that meet the eligibility criteria for the Covid-19 Loan. There are zero repayments and 0% APR for the first six months. The interest rate after the first 6 months will be a reduced interest rate of 4.5% APR if applications are submitted through the Local Enterprise Office Network (or other referral partners) or 5.5% APR if businesses apply directly to Microfinance Ireland. Repayments will commence in month 7 for the remaining period of the loan. Loan recipients can apply for a rebate on interest for months 7-12 provided all repayments have been made. (Government will rebate the interest paid on months 7-12 of the loan). The loan terms are typically up to 3 years and there are no fees or charges.
Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund: The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund will focus on investment in medium and large scale enterprises in Ireland through a Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund. The fund, worth up to €2 billion, will make capital available to medium and large enterprises on commercial terms. The PSRF will focus on investment in large and medium enterprises employing more than 250 employees or with annual turnover in excess of €50 million.
The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), provides a flat-rate subsidy to qualifying employers based on the numbers of eligible employees on the employer’s payroll.
There are also a wide range of other supports available including training and sector specific supports and guidance:
Sector-specific supports and guidance for the following sectors: food, drink, horticulture, seafood, design, tourism, arts, culture, sports.
Skills and training supports include Enterprise Ireland’s eiLearn online learning resource, LEO training webinars, Skillnet Ireland’s Skills Connect, the SOLAS Skills to Advance initiative and Springboard+ courses. For details on the range of supports visit COVID-19: Skills and training supports for businesses
Facebook are giving grants, in a combination of cash and ad credits, to help small businesses in Dublin, Cork and Meath, where Facebook has offices and its Clonee data centre. You can find more details about the scheme here
The Irish Business Design Challenge is a competition with a prize fund of €50,000 inviting micro, small and medium Irish businesses to enter by sharing their experiences of business during Covid. They will profile a company’s story of redesigns and pivots giving then the chance to win €15,000 as the first prize for each category and €2,000 for the runner-up in each category. For more details on the competition click here
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