The devil is as they say in the detail. Launched in a PR blitz a few weeks ago as part of the July stumulus, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar has now opened applications to the Restart Grant Plus Scheme, which gives grants to businesses to help them reopen.
Any support is a positive move, whether this goes far enough, covers enough businesses and will create any meaningful impact we will find out in the next weeks.
The Restart Grant Plus is a key part of the government’s July Stimulus package, which is billed as a €7.4bn package of measures designed to stimulate a jobs-led recovery and build economic confidence while continuing to manage the impact of Covid-19.
Some have queried why it has taken so long to get the scheme out there and even though launched today local authorities are still playing catch up.
Here is the only information on the Corkcity.ie website one of the biggest local authorities in the country with no detail on when the money will be available or how much you’d be entitled to, AND that info is buried in the site.
Nonetheless, commenting on the announcement Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said:
“We must do everything we can to help businesses reopen and get people back to work. We are increasing the Restart Grant Plus, which means that small and medium sized businesses can now get between €4,000 and €25,000 to help them get back on their feet after what has been an exceptionally difficult time.
“Hairdressers, sports clubs, cafes, restaurants and several other businesses can use this money to help with the costs associated with re-opening and adapting to what is a very different environment. This is just one of several actions the Government is taking as part of the July Stimulus to help businesses.”
Key changes to the Restart Grant Plus Scheme:
- €300m additional funding in addition to €250m previously committed
- Grant amount has increased substantially. Minimum grant is now €4,000 and maximum is €25,000. Previous grant amounts were €2,000 and €10,000 respectively
- Medium sized companies now eligible Companies with up to 250 employees can now apply (previously the grant was for companies with less than 50 employees)
- Increased eligibility Non-rateable B&Bs, sports clubs with commercial activities and trading charity shops are now eligible
- Businesses that received a grant under the first scheme can re-apply to local authorities to receive additional funding. For first-time applicants under Restart Plus, the minimum grant is €4,000 and the maximum is €25,000.
Interested businesses can apply through their local authority.
Applications to Fáilte Ireland, who will administer the funding to non-rate paying B&Bs, will open over the coming weeks.
To qualify for a grant, the important criteria are:
- A business must be commercial and in the local authority rates system (apart from non-rateable B&Bs who can apply to Fáilte Ireland);
- It must have suffered a 25% loss of expected turnover between 1 April and 30 June 2020;
- It must have less than 250 employees and turnover less than €25m;
- It must declare its intention to re-employ staff in receipt of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme
- Further details about the Restart Grant
• The grant will be based on the amount of the rates assessment for the premises for 2019 (excluding arrears) with a new minimum grant of €4,000 and a maximum grant of €25,000 (Increased from €2,000 min and €10,000 max).
• Eligible firms now include medium-sized firms and independent hotels with up to 250 employees, as well as small firms (increased from 50 employees).
• Businesses impacted by a 25% reduction in turnover will be eligible provided they commit to reopening and to hiring and sustaining employment.
• A turnover of up to €25m is now allowable, increased from €5m. There is a cap of €100,000 turnover per employee.
• Commercial sports businesses and trading charity shops in rated premises can now apply for the grant.
· The hospitality sector, restaurants, pubs, activity centres and tourist attractions, e.g., galleries, museums are eligible if they are operating from a rated premise.
• B&Bs in non-rated premises will be eligible to apply for the minimum €4,000 grant from Fáilte Ireland.
· A franchisee which is a financially independent company and is completely separate to the franchisor is eligible to apply.
· Small company chains can apply if they meet the criteria of <250 employees and €25m turnover in totality across the company and all the branches.
· Multinationals are not eligible. Small Irish based subsidiaries with overseas parent companies are not eligible.
· Large chains that are part of a large group company, i.e. one legal entity with a number of branches, such as fast food, group and multiple supermarkets, group hotels, group betting shops and group pharmacies are not eligible.
Don’t hold your breath! Note you may (will) need a plan B.