Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard has urged small and micro businesses across Cork to apply for the new €250m Restart Grant, which will give direct grant aid to help them with the costs associated with reopening and reemploying workers following COVID-19 closures.
The Cork Senator said: “The Restart Grant is a contribution towards the cost of re-opening or keeping a business operational and re-connecting with employees and customers. It will be available to businesses with a turnover of less than €5m and employing 50 people or less, which were closed or impacted by at least a 25 per cent reduction in turnover out to June 30, 2020.
“The grants will be equivalent to the rates bill of the business in 2019, with a minimum payment of €2,000 and a maximum payment of €10,000.”
Senator Lombard continued: “I am acutely aware of the difficulties facing small businesses in Cork during these challenging times.
“In response to the very significant economic challenges posed by Covid-19, the Government has moved swiftly to introduce a range of measures to support enterprises of all sizes. These measures have included supports for wage costs, liquidity supports and the deferral or waiver of payments.
“The Restart Grant is designed to help small businesses get back on their feet. The grant can be used to defray ongoing fixed costs, for replenishing stock and for measures needed to ensure employee and customer safety.
“Small businesses, whether it be the local hairdresser, café or clothes shop, are absolutely vital to the social fabric of our towns and villages throughout Cork.
“The Restart Grant will further help to support activity and employment across Cork,” Senator Lombard concluded.
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, said: “These businesses have made huge sacrifices to protect their employees and customers during COVID-19 and we want to help them get back up and running so that they can return to viability and contribute to the national economic recovery.
“These are small grants but they can make a big difference in terms of giving businesses an extra helping hand to open their doors again.”
Applications for the Restart Grant can be made online to local authorities from Friday May 22.
Processing of applications and payment of the Restart Grant will depend on the initial surge of applications but, as far as is feasible, will be prioritised according to scheduled re-opening dates in the national Roadmap.
This direct grant support is part of the wider €12bn package of supports for firms of all sizes, which includes grants, low-cost loans, write-off of commercial rates and deferred tax liabilities, all of which will help to improve cashflow amongst our SMEs.