In early September, 2017 the Government established an emergency humanitarian support scheme to assist small businesses and community, sporting and voluntary bodies in County Donegal which through no fault of their own were unable to secure flood insurance and were flooded following the exceptionally heavy rainfall of August 22 and 23. A similar scheme was successfully operated countrywide in 2015/16 following Storm Desmond and another one is currently ongoing following Storm Eleanor at the start of this year.
The purpose of the emergency scheme, which was administered by the Irish Red Cross, was to provide a mechanism whereby those small businesses and organisations could apply to receive a once-off ex-gratia contribution towards the costs of returning their premises to their pre-flood condition. The scheme applied to buildings, contents, fixtures and fittings.
The scheme had two stages and the total level of support available for both stages combined was capped at €20,000. The first stage provided a contribution of up to €5,000, depending on the scale of damage incurred and following a quick verification process. The outstanding balance of amounts up to a maximum of €20,000 was paid to applicants following a detailed assessment of the application.
I have made enquiries with the Irish Red Cross and they have confirmed that the Donegal business in question is a property owner/landlord and has received the maximum amount of €20,000 that was available under the scheme.
The scheme was established to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to small business owners to allow them to resume operating as quickly as possible. There are no plans to review the funding limits for the scheme at this stage.