The Government recognises the issue of ‘out of pocket’ costs which businesses have to pay despite not being able to trade. However, it would not be practical to conduct an assessment of the level of these costs for the range of businesses the Deputy outlines in his question.
Whilst for many businesses these costs will include rents, rates, insurance costs and wage costs, the levels of these costs incurred will vary significantly depending on the sector in which the business is engaged, the extent to which negotiations can take place with service providers, the size of premises, the number of staff and the geographical location of the business.
The Government is committed to ensuring as many businesses as possible survive this challenging period, and in recognition of these costs and the many other challenges faced by businesses during this crisis, Government has introduced a suite of supports to assist businesses.
The €250m Restart Grant provides direct support to micro and small businesses and aims to reduce any potential debt overhang for businesses resuming activity and assist with re-opening costs. Complementing this is the commercial rate waiver which will waive rates for businesses forced to close as a result of public health directives. The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme has provided a vital source of funds to support up to 85% of employment costs for firms affected by the pandemic and Revenue’s decision to allow businesses to defer tax liabilities have injected large amounts of liquidity into many businesses of all sizes right across the country.
In addition to these direct supports, my Department has a range of other supports which are open to businesses right across the country, full details on all supports are available at: https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/