The Restart Grant was launched on 22 May 2020 and is a critically important tool to support small businesses to reopen their doors and get back on their feet. Grant payment available range from a minimum of €2,000 up to €10,000 available. The scheme was devised in recognition of the fact that micro and small businesses were and are particularly vulnerable to the economic effects of Covid-19.
Using funding allocated by Enterprise Ireland for the Scheme, the Local Authorities are the granting authority in each of their respective areas in accordance with the criteria for the Scheme and the Local Authorities make grant payments to the bank account of qualifying businesses, in accordance with the scheme.
The Restart Grant is just one part of a wider assistance package for business and for firms of all sizes, which includes the wage subsidy scheme, the pandemic unemployment payment for the self-employed, grants, low-cost loans, write-off of commercial rates and deferred tax liabilities, all of which will help to improve cashflow amongst SMEs. Within the funding available so far, the priority has been to assist those who have suffered most, including closure of the business, but whom will still have incurred ongoing costs.
The unprecedented circumstances of the COVID19 global pandemic has resulted in a swiftly evolving landscape for enterprises. I will continue to use all available tools at my disposal to support businesses and ensure their survival.
As of 10 July 2020, 40,506 businesses have applied for €141.7 million in grants. A total sum of €94,795,163 in grants has been disbursed to businesses by local authorities to date, in respect of 23,326 applications.
A further sum of €15,044,550 is due to be paid in respect of applications which have recently been approved.
Since disbursements began in June, based on the total value of grants and the number of approved applications, the average approved grant per week has been circa €4,000.