Covid19 is continuing to cause devastation on the tourism industry and business in general. The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has a dedicated website with a range of support services available during these difficult times. Please click on the link attached to access this valuable information. https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/
In addition to the government’s own list of supports on the website, The following links too are beneficial to you during these unprecedented times:
Fáilte Ireland has several schemes in place to support the industry at this difficult time. The Covid19 Adaptation Fund, The Coach Tourism Business Continuity Scheme and the newly announced Continuity Support Strategic Fund and Covid19 Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) are supports that are aimed at easing the impact of Covid19 on the tourism trade. The Fáilte Ireland website provides industry advice on COVID 19 at this link https://www.failteireland.ie/Utility/Covid-19.aspx .
Fáilte Ireland has created an Industry FAQ’s document you can download it Click Here
For detailed instructions on operational guidelines within the industry Click here
Support Hub: Managing a business in unprecedented times. In response to the COVID-19 crisis and the impact it is having on the tourism sector, we are targeting our business supports to respond to the most urgent challenges and threats tourism businesses are now facing. All of these supports can be accessed here.
There will be weekly bulletins on consumer sentiment and behaviour, industry insights, and the international impact of COVID-19. This information will be collated from our ongoing engagement with the COVID-19 Tourism Industry Advisory Group and uploaded here every Tuesday. Click here
Fáilte Ireland has introduced an Employee Wellbeing Programme aimed at supporting employees across all sectors of the hospitality industry during these difficult times. Fáilte Ireland, in partnership with PulseLearning, is offering the I Am Here: Rapid Response service to the Irish tourism industry. This is a programme of mental health support and learning within the workplace and beyond
Fáilte Ireland has partnered with Inspire Workplaces to offer free and confidential access to an Employee Assistance Programme. This is available widely to business owners, employees and people who are self-employed in the industry. Freephone Helpline on 1800 201346: You will need to quote Fáilte Ireland when accessing the service to ensure the services are provided to you free of charge. https://covid19.failteireland.ie/business-supports/employee-wellbeing/
Restart Grants Plus scheme (RGP) Tipperary County Council
A revised Restart Grants Plus scheme (RGP) is open tp applicants where grants of between €4,000 up to a maximum of €25,000 are available. Visit https://www.tipperarycoco.ie/news/re-start-grants-plus-scheme for more information.
To qualify for the scheme, enterprises must have:
- 250 employees or less;
- Turnover of less than €100,000 per employee; and
- Reduced turnover by 25% as a result of COVID-19
- The scheme applies to businesses that have a turnover of less than €100k per employee to a maximum of €25M
Those that accessed funding through the previous round of the scheme are eligible for a second top-up payment to a total combined value of the revised maximum grant level.
Under the Restart Grant Plus scheme, support will also be provided for enterprises that could not access the original grant scheme, including rateable sports businesses and trading charity shops. Non-rated B&Bs will be eligible for a grant payment of €4,000.
How to Apply
Ratepayers who have previously been approved under the original Restart Grants Scheme
- Previous Applicants who were approved do not need to complete a new Application. The Council will directly contact them by email early this week, simply requiring them to respond to the email, which will automatically include them in the new RGP scheme.
New Applicants, who haven’t previously applied under the Restart Grants Scheme
- An online Application Form will be made available online for new Applicants later this week.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Frequently Asked Questions about the Scheme can be viewed here.
Trading Online Voucher Scheme
Even though there is currently an increasing trend in online spending it is estimated that only 23% of small Irish businesses use eCommerce in any meaningful way. It is estimated that of all online purchases made in Ireland 70% is done in overseas markets.
There is now an urgency to ensure that businesses recognise that this is happening and that they are encouraged and supported to correctly respond to this reality. To support this goal, the National Digital Strategy aims to get more businesses trading online. To this end, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) launched a Trading Online Voucher Scheme and teamed up with Local Enterprise Offices to deliver this to Irish Business.
A limited number of vouchers are now available to eligible businesses.
The Trading Online Voucher Scheme offers small businesses the opportunity to develop their website or digital marketing strategy by availing of vouchers of up to €2,500 or 90% of eligible expenditure.
- The requirement for co-funding in respect of applications received after 7 April 2020 is reduced from 50% to 10%
- The introduction of the second voucher of up to €2,500 for businesses that have already availed of a voucher under the Scheme but who find themselves needing to upgrade their existing e-commerce capability. The second voucher would also require co-funding of 10%.
- The drawdown of payments in respect of new vouchers in two instalments rather than in one instalment as is presently the case.
- Subscriptions to low cost online retail platform solutions are eligible expenditure under the scheme, is to allow applicants to quickly establish a retailing presence online.
- Additional project evaluation criterion – How will the project aid the business during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Any queries in this regard should be directed to Tipperary Local Enterprise Office, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0761065000.
Tipperary Local Enterprise Office has online training programmes that will assist you in upskilling which will assist your business. Please visit Tipperary Local Enterprise Office Website at https://www.localenterprise.ie/Tipperary/
MicroFinance Ireland loans are being promoted as key support for micro-enterprises. Important changes are being made to the MicroFinance Ireland supports for microenterprises. Check out MicroFinance Ireland for a full suite of supports https://microfinanceireland.ie/loan-packages-2/covid19/
MicroFinance Ireland has introduced a NEW COVID-19 Business Loan Scheme – Zero repayments for first 6 months and the equivalent of 12 months interest-free subject to certain terms and conditions* The COVID-19 Business Loan from Microfinance Ireland is a government initiative to support small businesses through the current challenges and protect job creation and sustainment in Ireland. If your business has been impacted by COVID-19 resulting in a reduction of 15% or more in turnover or profit, and you are unable to secure finance from banks and commercial lending providers, the MFI COVID-19 Business Loan may be an option to help your business. Loans can be used for working capital or changes required by the business to manage COVID19.
- Business Loans from €5,000 to €25,000
- First 6 months – 0% interest and zero repayments
- Repayments will commence in month 7 for the remaining period of your loan.
- Government rebate for the interest paid in the following 6 months (months 7-12 of your loan)
- Interest rate after the first 6 months will be: a reduced interest rate of 4.5% APR if submitted through the Local Enterprise Office Network (or other referral partners) or 5.5% APR if you apply directly
- Loan terms typically up to 3 years
- No fees or charges
- Fixed repayments with no penalty for early repayment
*Terms & Conditions:
- The maximum loan amount is €25,000 for all applicants. Existing MFI customers can apply for up to €25,000, in addition to existing borrowings subject to a maximum credit exposure of €50,000.
- The Government rebate of the equivalent of 6 months interest will be refunded automatically, directly to your bank account, in Month 13 of the loan period. This interest rebate will only be made if the full 6 repayments including interest have been made in the previous 6 months. No interest rebate is payable if this condition is not met.
- By exception, capital expenditure may be funded up to 5 years.
- Any business (Sole Trader, Partnership or Limited Company) with less than 10 employees and an annual turnover of up to €2m and was trading before the coronavirus pandemic in Ireland
- Unable to secure finance from the Bank or commercial lending provider
- The business has been impacted by COVID19 resulting in a 15% or more reduction in turnover or profit.
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation announced several supports for businesses facing challenges being presented by the current Covid-19 situation. The Credit Guarantee Scheme is in place and available now to SMEs subject to the relevant terms and conditions. Separately the SBCI is currently working to finalise the terms and conditions of the SBCI COVID19 Working Capital Scheme and the eligibility application process for this. The SBCI website will be updated as soon as these are finalised. Click here
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
If you are self-employed and your business has reduced significantly or closed, you can apply for Jobseeker’s Benefit (Self-Employed).
Get all the details on how you can apply for Jobseeker’s Payments here:
If you have concerns about your ability to pay your tax liabilities speak to the Revenue Commissioners, who have advised:
“On an on-going basis, Revenue engages with viable businesses experiencing temporary cash flow or trading difficulties that affect the timely payment of tax. Revenue works very successfully with businesses that engage early to resolve their tax payment difficulties. Revenue will engage with any viable business that experiences temporary cashflow difficulties, including difficulties arising from exceptional circumstances such as the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.” See www.revenue.ie.
Revenue has also posted advice for businesses experiencing trading difficulties as a result of COVID-19. This includes information on tax returns, the application of late payment interest, debt enforcement, tax clearance and customs.
Support for businesses impacted by COVID 19 through commercial rates deferral
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 concerning any rates payments falling due in the period to end-May. Find out more information here Support for businesses impacted by COVID-19 through commercial rates deferral
The Health Service Executive website features guidelines for returning to work safely. This important advice is essential to ensuring compliance in the workplace. Please read the guidelines through the website which can be found here; https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/returning-to-work-safely.html
COVID19 can challenge mental health but rest assured there are supports in place to assist. We might need to put extra effort into looking after our mental health for a while. But we will get through this. Mental Health Ireland has an array of excellent tool kits that will assist in supporting you during these times; https://www.mentalhealthireland.ie/get-support/covid19/
The Health Service Executive has many supports outlined in the following link to support your mental health; https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/mental-health/covid-19/minding-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html