Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Ceisteanna (81)

Emer Higgins


81. Deputy Emer Higgins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the supports available to sole traders over 66 years of age that are impacted by Covid-19; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15696/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Government has introduced a €12bn package of supports 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. Full details on all COVID19 supports for business are available at: https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/

Any eligible business, including the self-employed, can apply for the following supports. The most appropriate support will depend on the characteristics of the business.

MicroFinance Ireland can provide loans of up to €50,000 as an immediate measure to specifically deal with exceptional circumstances that micro-enterprises – (any business -Sole Trader, Partnership or Limited Company with less than 10 full time employees and annual turnover of up to €2m)- are facing.

Local Enterprise Offices have moved training programmes, workshops and networking meet-ups online, covering areas such as cash management in a crisis, leading your business through COVID-19 and advice for employers impacted by the crisis. Training programmes are free of charge and places can be booked online, through your Local Enterprise Office.

For established traders and companies that meet eligibility criteria, Local Enterprise Offices can also offer financial supports to help manage current market challenges such as Business Priming Grants, Business Expansion Grants, Feasibility Study Grants and Technical Assistance for Micro-Exporters Grant.

The former Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty on 25 June announced that her Department’s Enterprise Support Grant will be made available to assist self-employed recipients who are exiting the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) scheme with a once-off grant of up to €1,000 to re-start their business. This will provide business owners with a once-off grant of up to €1,000 to re-start their business. A fund of €12m has been allocated for the extension of this grant. The grant will be payable to self-employed micro enterprises which employ fewer than 10 people, have an annual turnover of less than €1 million and are not eligible for support from the COVID 19 Business Restart Grant or other similar business reopening grants.

I can assure the Deputy that I will continue to work with my colleagues across Government and with all stakeholders, to examine all such appropriate business supports as we prepare the forthcoming Jobs recovery Plan to assist enterprises, including self-employed service providers, impacted by Covid-19.