A significant package of tax and expenditure measures to build the resilience of the economy and to help vulnerable but viable businesses across all sectors was introduced in Budget 2021.
Government acknowledges the importance of ongoing supports such as the Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme and Covid-19 Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) to businesses and the role played by grant schemes such as the Restart Grants, the Small Business Assistance Scheme for Covid and the various sectoral supports administered by relevant Departments.
The CRSS has provided vital support to businesses that have been forced to close or restrict access to their premises on foot of public health regulations. As we start to reopen the economy, the Government has agreed to the extension of the CRSS until 30th of June 2021.
Any business currently availing of CRSS and that can now reopen as restrictions are eased will be able to avail of double restart week payments for two weeks subject to the statutory maximum of €5,000 per week to support them in meeting the costs of reopening as they exit the scheme.
My Department has made loan supports available to businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. These include schemes to support businesses as they look toward reopening.
The COVID-19 Business Loan provides up to €25,000 to eligible micro-enterprises through Microfinance Ireland with zero repayments and zero interest for the first six months and the equivalent of an additional six-months interest-free, subject to certain terms and conditions.
The COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme makes lending available from participating lenders to eligible businesses. Loans available under the scheme range from €25,000 to €1.5 million and are for terms of up to three years. Loans are offered at favourable terms, including a maximum interest rate of 4% and no security on loans of up to €500,000. This scheme is available to SMEs and small mid-caps (businesses of up to 499 employees).
The Government are committed that there will be no cliff-edge end to the economic supports at the end of June. Government recognises that re-opening will be costly and will pose new challenges that will need to be sustained by continued supports and corrective measures to get the balance right between supporting recovery and cost to the Exchequer and plans for this are currently in development. Details on these supports will be announced as part of our National Economic Recovery Plan which will be published in early June.