On Friday, 15 May 2020, the Government announced details of the new €250m Restart Grant providing direct grant aid to micro and small businesses to help them with the costs associated with reopening and reemploying workers following COVID-19 closures; with the grant being administered by local authorities from Friday, 22 May 2020.
Eligible businesses who have stayed open throughout the crisis, as well as those who are reopening under Phase 1 (from 18 May) and Phase 2 (8 June) of the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, are encouraged to apply for the Restart Grant. These applications will be prioritised for payment by the local authorities.
To avail of the Restart Grant, applicants must be a commercial business and be in the Local Authorities Commercial Rates Payment System and:
1. have an annual turnover of less than €5m and employ between 1 to 50 people;
2. have suffered a projected 25%+ loss in turnover to end June 2020;
3. commit to remain open or to reopen if it was closed;
4. declare the intention to retain employees that are on The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.
Subject to the qualifying criteria outlined above, any business that has a commercially rateable premises including those businesses with outstanding rates bills are eligible to make an application if they meet the criteria. The grant will be the amount of the rates demand in respect of calendar year 2019 only, subject to a minimum of €2,000 and a maximum of €10,000.
A recently established company that has moved into a rateable premises, or any company that is currently in a rateable premises but was not rate-assessed in 2019, is still eligible to apply. The local authority can pay the grant based on an estimate of what the rates demand for 2019 would have been.
Applications for the Restart Grant can be made online directly to local authorities and further information is available on the application form. If there are queries that are not addressed on the application form, businesses can contact the Business Support Unit in each local authority.