The Government has put in place a comprehensive package to help businesses and workers during the pandemic, including the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), the COVID-19 Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), low-cost loans, the deferral and warehousing of tax liabilities and the waiver of commercial rates. Details of the wide range of COVID-19 schemes are available on my Department’s website at https://enterprise.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/.
On 9th February last I announced a new €60m Scheme called the COVID-19 Business Aid Scheme (CBAS) that is being developed to provide grants to businesses ineligible for the Government’s other existing schemes such as CRSS and to help with fixed costs. Wholesalers, suppliers, caterers and events companies down 75% or more in turnover and who are in receipt of a rates bill from their local authority can benefit, including those that commenced at the end of 2019.
We are committed to helping businesses respond to the economic challenges arising from the pandemic with a particular focus on firms that do not qualify for the weekly CRSS grant from the Revenue Commissioners or existing sectorial schemes in areas such as the arts, transport and tourism. The new CBAS will help some businesses that are not 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.
I and my colleagues across Government will continue to keep the range of measures under review.