I am acutely aware of the difficulties that these necessary ongoing Covid-19 restrictions are putting on all businesses right across the country. Business owners are making sacrifices in order to protect their communities.
As you are aware, 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.
You will also know that Budget 2021 provided a significant package of tax and expenditure measures to build the resilience of the economy and to help vulnerable but viable businesses across all sectors. The level of Government supports is unprecedented.
Some schemes do have an eligibility requirement of a business operating from a premises on which rates are payable. The reason for this provision is to assist businesses operating from fixed premises to meet some of the ongoing fixed costs of maintaining those premises.
The Government business fixed cost support schemes are there to help meet costs that cannot be avoided and to provide basic weekly income support up to maximum of €350 per week. They are not created to provide compensation for loss of personal income above this level or compensation for loss of profits for any sector.
Full 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/.
I want to assure you, however, the Government is consulting with business sectors and I am aware of their concerns and I and my colleagues across Government are continuing to keep the range of measures under review.