The Restart Grant and Restart Grant Plus schemes were designed to help small and medium sized businesses get back on their feet after what has been an exceptionally difficult time. The Restart Grant scheme was launched on 15 May with a budget of €250 million. The Restart Grant Plus scheme was launched on 10 August with an additional budget of €300m from the Government’s July Jobs Stimulus as a result of the increasing demand for the scheme.
The purpose of the schemes was to help with the cost of reopening or adapting business premises so that normal business could resume. Grant payments were administered by the Local Authorities via the commercial rates system as this was considered the most effective means to get urgent financial assistance to small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
The Restart Grant Plus scheme closed to new applications on 31 October and the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) operated by the Revenue Commissioners is now in place.
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.
In response to the Deputy’s specific question and as of 12 February 2021, Dublin City Council received a total of 6,645 applications to the Restart Grant Scheme, 5007 of which were approved for payment. The total amount of funding allocated to the Council under the Restart Grant Scheme was €29,700,945.
In terms of the Restart Grant Plus Scheme, Dublin City Council received 8393 applications, of which 7,276 were approved for payment. The total amount of funding allocated to the Council under the Restart Grant Plus Scheme was €68,321,860.