Posted in Business
by Karen O'Donovan
on Wednesday 1 April 2020

Please see below list of supports and advice that I received from dbei.gov.ie that may be helpful to other businesses:

NB: This is not a comprehensive list

BUSINESS SUPPORTS

  1. If you are experiencing cash flow difficulties as a result of Covid-19 please contact your bank. Most banks have announced that they will offer flexibility to their private and business customers experiencing difficulties as a result of Covid-19, and they may be able to provide loan payment holidays or emergency working capital facilities.
  2. If you are an Enterprise Ireland client, please contact your relationship manager or visit Enterprise Ireland for a suite of supports available. The Government has approved a €200m Package for Enterprise Supports including a Rescue and Restructuring Scheme available through Enterprise Ireland for vulnerable but viable firms that need to restructure or transform their business.
  3. If you are an IDA Ireland client please visit idaireland.com for additional information.
  4. If you are a micro enterprise (10 employees or less) Microfinance Ireland (MFI) can provide loans typically up to 3 years from €5K-€50K (with an interest rate of between 7% and 8%) to help businesses cope with this loss of income. MFI can also provide an interest free payment break of up to 6 months for loans that are needed as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. You can apply through their website - Microfinance Ireland (tel. 01 260 1007) or through your Local Enterprise office (LEO).
  5. There is a LEO in every county which can provide advice and vouchers to support business continuity preparedness, innovation and productivity. The new Business Continuity Voucher, available through Local Enterprise Offices, is designed for businesses across every sector that employ up to 50 people. The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The goal is to help companies make informed decisions about what immediate measures and remedial actions should be taken, to protect staff and sales.
  6. If you are having difficulty borrowing from your bank please enquire about the Credit Guarantee Scheme which is a government supported product operated by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) from the banks for businesses. The scheme can be used by businesses to obtain loans to support changes they need to make in response to Covid-19 and provides an 80% guarantee by the government to participating banks and businesses. Your business can apply for loans from €10,000 of up to €1 million at the three pillar banks i.e. AIB, Bank of Ireland or Ulster Bank. Loans can be for terms of up to 7 years.
  7. The Covid-19 Loan Scheme provides loans from €25K up to €1.5M million with a maximum interest rate of 4% to businesses who can show they are impacted by Covid-19 and is available through AIB, BOI and Ulster Bank.

 

INCOME PROTECTION

Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

The Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy is a scheme which allow employers to pay their employees during the current pandemic. Employers will be refunded up to 70 percent of an employee's wages - up to a level of €410. The employer is expected to make their best efforts to maintain as close to 100% of normal income as possible for the subsidised period. This payment replaces the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection's Employer Refund Scheme announced on 15th March, and any business that received refunds under that scheme do not need to reapply. Revenue will contact them directly to confirm that they meet the conditions for this new scheme.

 

INCOME SUPPORT

A number of income supports are available from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for your employees during a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) related absence or temporary lay-off from work:

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a payment of €350 per week. It is available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost their job due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. The payment will be in place for the duration of the crisis. If you have been temporarily placed on a shorter working week, you may qualify for Short Time Work Support. The application form can be downloaded here or contact the Emergency Payments Line on - 1890 8000 24

Short Time Work Support is a form of Jobseeker’s Benefit and is an income support payment if you have been temporarily placed on a shorter working week. The payment is made in respect of your regular salary for the days that you are no longer working. For example, if your working week has been reduced from a 5-day work pattern to a 3-day work pattern, you can receive support for the other 2 days.

 

SELF-EMPLOYED

Self-employed who qualify will also be paid the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 rather than through the Revenue scheme. They will be eligible on a similar basis as the Revenue scheme for employees. The application form can be downloaded here or contact the Emergency Payments Line on - 1890 8000 24

  1. Additional staff supports can be found at www.gov.ie (01 238 4000).

 

COMPANIES REGISTRATION OFFICE (CRO)

The Registrar of Companies has decided that all annual returns due to be filed by any company now and up to 30th June 2020 will be deemed to have been filed on time if all elements of the annual return are completed and filed by that date. This date may be extended depending on the situation as it develops. Further information can be found on the CRO website.

 

TAX

With regards to SMEs, the Revenue Commissioners have announced that the application of interest on late payments is suspended for January/February VAT (due March 21st, next return not due until mid-May) and both February and March PAYE (Employers) liabilities. All debt enforcement activity is also suspended until further notice. Businesses should continue to send in their tax returns on time. SMEs for tax purposes are those businesses with a turnover of less than €3 million who are managed from both a service and compliance standpoint by Revenue’s Business Division. Queries which are tax related will be handled by the Revenue Commissioners .

 

RATES

On the 20th March, The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government agreed to defer rates payments due from the most immediately impacted businesses - primarily in the retail, hospitality, leisure and childcare sectors, for three months, until end-May. This measure will be implemented by each local authority in its own area. Any commercial ratepayers that have had to temporarily close or significantly curtail operations during the COVID-19 response period should contact their local authority immediately in relation to any rates payments falling due in the period to end-May. Ratepayers that can continue to pay their outstanding local authority rates should continue to do so in the normal way. Further details can be found at:

https://www.housing.gov.ie/local-government/covid-19-coronavirus/support-businesses-impacted-covid-19-through-commercial-rates

 

INSURANCE

To keep up to date with any Insurance statements and news please go to www.insuranceireland.eu

  • COVID-19 Emergency Payments Line - 1890 8000 24

 



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