Cash flow supports for businesses
A variety of other supports for businesses affected by COVID-19 have been made available by the State and State agencies, including:
- Loans from €25,000 to €1.5 million under the Working Capital Loan Scheme, operated by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI). Loans are available to viable micro, small and medium-sized enterprises ("SMEs") and Small MidCap enterprises, who meet the eligibility criteria. A Small Mid-Cap is an enterprise that is not an SME but has fewer than 500 employees. The loans have a maximum interest rate of 4% and the first €500,000 borrowed can be unsecured. Applications can be made through the SBCI website.
- Longer-term loans from €100,000 to €3,000,000 for SME’s under the Future Growth Loan Scheme also operated through the SBCI. The loans have a maximum interest rate of 4.5% and the first €500,000 borrowed can be unsecured.
- A Credit Guarantee Scheme which supports loans up to €1 million for periods of up to 7 years. The purpose of this scheme is to encourage additional lending to SMEs by offering a partial Government guarantee (currently 80%) to banks against losses on qualifying loans to eligible SMEs. The Scheme is operated by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation through AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank.
- Microenterprise loans of up to €50,000 from MicroFinance Ireland for sole traders, partnerships and limited companies with less than 10 full-time employees and an annual turnover of up to €2m. Applications can be made through the MFI website or through your Local Enterprise Office .
- A new Business Continuity Voucher, available through Local Enterprise Offices, for businesses 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 emergency. Clients of Enterprise Ireland, IDA or Údarás na Gaeltachta should contact their relevant agency, which has other appropriate supports in place. Download an application form and email it to your Local Enterprise Office .
- A new Trading Online Voucher Scheme, available through Local Enterprise Offices to help small and microenterprises get online. The voucher is worth up to €2,500. A second voucher of up to €2,500 can be sought once the first has been successfully utilised. Voucher numbers are limited - contact your Local Enterprise Office for more information and application details.
- A Business Financial Planning Grant from Enterprise Ireland to the value of €5,000 to assist companies to develop a Business Sustainment Plan and to engage the services of an approved Financial Consultant. For more information and to apply contact Enterprise Ireland.
- A Finance in Focus grant of €7,200 will be available to Enterprise Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta clients.
- The deferral of commercial rates due to local authorities from the most immediately impacted businesses – primarily in the retail, hospitality, leisure and childcare sectors, until the end of May.
- €180m Sustaining Enterprise Fund for firms with 10 or more employees in the manufacturing and international services sectors to be operated by Enterprise Ireland, providing advances of up to €800,000 which are only repayable when a business returns to good financial health.
- A COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme open to retailers employing over 10 people. Grants ranging from €10,000 to €40,000 will be awarded under the competitive scheme to retailers seeking to improve their existing online capability.
- Bord Bia's COVID Response Marketing Support Package, a marketing grant scheme open to food, drink and horticul horticulture (edible and amenity) producers , who are client companies of Bord Bia, with a turnover between €100,000 and €25 million in 2019. The closing date for receipt of applications is Thursday, 16 April 2020.
You can read more in the full Government announcement on supports for business.
Other general supports for businesses
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.
- 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.
All annual returns due to be filed by companies will be deemed to have been filed on time if all elements of the annual return are completed and filed by 30 June, 2020. This will enable businesses and their financial advisers to focus on the more pressing and immediate financial challenges. The situation will be kept under review and the date of 30 June may be extended depending on the situation at that time. Companies should check the CRO website for more details.
Revenue has advice for businesses experiencing trading difficulties as a result of COVID-19. This includes information on tax returns, late payment interest, debt enforcement, tax clearance and customs.