At the outset, I want to assure the Deputy that my Department and its Agencies are working proactively with Brexit exposed firms to support their contingency planning and business transformation investments in order to help them prepare for the potential impacts of Brexit, to protect jobs and to build resilience so that enterprises do not reach the stage where they need rescue and restructuring support.
The rescue and restructuring scheme was put in place for "Undertakings in Difficulty" and operates under the EU Rescue and Restructuring Guidelines. Under the scheme, an undertaking is considered to be in difficulty when, without intervention by the State, it will almost certainly be condemned to going out of business in the short or medium term.
This scheme was developed as it was considered prudent to have contingency measures in place so that my Department can respond swiftly to changing circumstances, as necessary. However, there are many other supports in place that enterprises can avail of which should prevent them from reaching the point where they are in severe difficulty and at risk of going out of business. However, we also recognise the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit and therefore this scheme is part of a belt and braces approach to supporting enterprise.
To date, no applications for support have been received under the Rescue and Restructuring scheme.