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Thursday, November 26, 2020

SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS

DBEI is now operating a Business Support Call Centre to advise on the Government supports available to businesses and enterprises that are affected by COVID-19. The Call Centre can be contacted at 00 353 1 631 2002. The Department has updated the Business Continuity Planning Checklist COVID-19 which identifies some of the key risks to the continuity of your business activities during the outbreak of COVID-19 and of preparatory actions that can be taken to respond.

In addition, on the COVID-19 Supports page on the Department’s website there are numerous links to vital information, supports available and advice to business on dealing with COVID-19. This advice is from official and trusted sources such as the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Departments of Health, Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) and Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) as well as WHO, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

CLICK ON THESE LINKS TO ACCESS MORE INFORMATION:

LINK 1: https://dbei.gov.ie/en/Publications/Business-Continuity-Planning-A-checklist-of-Preparatory-Actions-in-Responding-to-the-COVID-19-Outbreak.html

LINK 2: https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/

In addition, on the COVID-19 Supports page on the Department’s website there are numerous links to vital information, supports available and advice to business on dealing with COVID-19. This advice is from official and trusted sources such as the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Departments of Health, Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) and Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) as well as WHO, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

You will find guidance for the business and retail sector, guidance for workers dealing with the public, information for employers and employees, on home working and on employment supports and payments. It is important that the advice and guidance you take is from official sources and you will also find all information regarding COVID-19 on the Government website, www.gov.ie.

IRISH GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

The Government has recently announced a range of supports for business, many of which are administered through my Department and our Agencies and Offices. These can also be viewed on the COVID-19 Supports page and include:

A €200m Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) Working Capital scheme for eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19. Loans of up to €1.5m will be available at reduced rates, with up to the first €500,000 unsecured. Applications can be made through the SBCI websiteLINK 3: https://sbci.gov.ie/

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.

The maximum loan available from MicroFinance Ireland will be increased from €25,000 to €50,000 as an immediate measure to specifically deal with exceptional circumstances that micro-enterprises – (sole traders and firms with up to nine employees) – are facing. Applications can be made through the MFI website or through your local LEO.

LINK 4: https://microfinanceireland.ie/

LINK 5: https://www.localenterprise.ie/Find-Your-Local-Enterprise-Office/

The Credit Guarantee Scheme will be available to COVID-19 impacted firms through the Pillar Banks. Loans of up to €1m will be available at terms of up to seven years.

In addition, the following supports are available for firms experiencing trading difficulties and short-term shocks:

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and DBEI will provide a joint First Responder support service through the Intreo Offices and development agencies, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland in each region to provide tailored supports for impacted firms, with the objective of avoiding mass lay-offs and buying time for firms to work through the short-term disruptions.

Firms that need to reduce hours or days worked can avail of the DEASP Short Term Work Support by contacting their local Intreo Office, see Short Time Work Support

LINK 5: https://www.gov.ie/en/service/c20e1b-short-time-work-support/

The full range of Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Local Enterprise Office and Údarás na Gaeltachta grant supports will be available to firms to help with strategies to innovate, diversify markets and supply chains and to improve competitiveness.

LEO – LOCAL EMAPLOYMENT OFFICE
Local Enterprise Offices can provide vouchers to businesses to assist in preparing in the event of any business continuity issues arising. LINK 6: https://www.localenterprise.ie/

Enterprise Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta

A Finance in Focus grant of €7,200 will be available to Enterprise Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta clients who want to access consultancy support to undertake immediate finance reviews.

National Action Plan in Response to COVID-19

The Government has also published a National Action Plan in Response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and this can be found at www.gov.ie/covid19.

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