Covid-19 Restart Grants for Small Businesses

There are now several different Business Restart Grants available to help small businesses sole traders and B&Bs with the extra cost of restarting after the Covid lockdown.

Enterprise Support Grant

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has announced than the Enterprise Support Grant will be available to assist with the expenses of re-opening a business after Covid-19 closures. Payments of up to €1000 are available to people who were previously getting the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

Who Can Qualify for this Grant ?

To be eligible – claimants MUST
  • Have been in receipt of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and have closed their claim on or after 18th May 2020.
  • Have reopened their business;
  • Produce receipts/invoices in respect of business re-start costs and expenses claimed.
  • Employ fewer than 10 people;
  • Have an annual turnover of less than €1 million;
  • Not be eligible for other similar Covid business re-start grants from other Government Departments;
  • Not be liable for commercial rates;

Once a self-employed person closes their PUP claim they will have 4 weeks to make a claim for the grant. This should allow time for claimants to incur the necessary expenditure, gather receipts and submit a claim.

Funding from the Enterprise Support Grant will be awarded for eligible costs up to a maximum of €1,000. Grants will be awarded on costs related to reopening your business, including:

  • safety measures
  • business advice or mentoring
  • repairs
  • fuel
  • wages

Invoices must be submitted with the application. Normal business costs are not included. You will be refunded eligible costs to a maximum of €1,000. Calculations, for a VAT registered business, are based on the costs incurred excluding VAT.
Applications forms can be downloaded HERE. EnglishIrish

The DEASP said they will confirm exactly how people can access the grant in the coming weeks.

Business Restart Grant

For larger businesses that pay business rates – there is another grant available called the Restart Grant . It is to help with the costs associated with reopening and re-employing workers following COVID-19 closures.
The grant will be the equivalent to the 2019 business rates bill , with a minimum payment of €2,000 and a maximum payment of €10,000.

Eligibility Criteria

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 and re-employ staff on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment as business recovers.

Businesses can apply to their local council for the Business Restart Grants . HERE

Micro-Enterprise Assistance Fund

Extra funding is being provided under the July Stimulus for Local Enterprise Office clients that meet the following criteria:

  • Business impacted by a 30% reduction in turnover due to COVID-19 restrictions or downturn in trade will be eligible provided they commit to reopening and to hiring and sustaining employment;
  • Between one and 10 full-time employees;
  • Businesses that have a commercial focus, have an up to date tax compliance certificate and within eligible sectors (excluding gambling, coal and steel etc.);
  • Businesses that are ineligible for other state sectoral funding schemes

The grant will be a maximum of €1000 based on the amount of vouched additional expenditure from the 14th of September .

The scheme is not open to businesses already receiving other Covid related grants .

Restart Grant Plus for B&Bs

The Restart Grant Plus for B&Bs will be €4,000 for non-rated B&Bs i.e. B&B businesses not on the Local Authority rates system.
The grant is a contribution towards the cost of re-opening or keeping a business operational and re-connecting with employees and customers.

In Phase 1, applicants must be part of the National Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF) either through direct approval by Fáilte Ireland, or as a member of B&B Ireland’s Quality Assurance Framework.

Phase 2 is open to all commercial B&Bs. Details of requirements will be announced shortly.

In order to apply for the Restart Grant Plus for B&Bs, a B&B business must:

a) Be commercial;
b) Have 0 – 250 employees;
c) Have suffered a projected 25%+ loss in turnover between 1 April to end June 2020, based on a comparable period in 2019;
d) Commit to remain open or to reopen in 2020 if it was closed; and
e) Intend to retain employees that are/were on the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) (formerly Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS))
f) Be in operation prior to January 2020

If the B&B business has not opened or does not intend to open in 2020, they are not entitled to the payment.

Phase 1 will open on 14 September and close on 28 October 2020.

Further details on the dates for Phase 2 will be announced shortly.

More details and information can be found here at Bord Failte

More details of financial support for Covid impacted businesses can be found on the Dept of Business Enterprise and Innovation Website