BUSINESS

Enterprise Ireland welcomes new Covid-19 funding supports for businesses

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Enterprise Ireland welcomes new Covid-19 funding supports for businesses

Enterprise Ireland has welcomed new Covid-19 supports for businesses announced by the Government. The agency will operate and administer a number of these new funding supports, including a new €180 million scheme for businesses impacted by Covid-19.

The new Sustaining Enterprise Fund was recently approved by the European Commission in line with EU State aid rules, to provide financial support to Irish companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme is available to assist companies in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors who have suffered, or expect to suffer, a 15 percent or more reduction in turnover or profits or an increase in costs as a direct result of Covid-19.

Funding of up to €800,000 will allow eligible businesses to access the necessary liquidity and funding to sustain their businesses in the short to medium term and contribute to the recovery of the Irish economy. The Sustaining Enterprise Fund will be available to companies who are unable to access adequate funding from the market, financial institutions or the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI).

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said: “I greatly welcome the announcement by the government on the introduction of a range of new funding instruments to help Irish businesses respond to the economic challenges Covid-19 presents.

“Enterprise Ireland client companies have already seen a significant impact on their businesses from Covid-19. While their immediate focus has been on dealing with the welfare of their employees, they are also being impacted by a collapse in demand in certain sectors, supply chain disruption and cashflow challenges.

“I am pleased to say that the new Sustaining Enterprise Fund, which provides up to €800,000 in repayable funding is now open for businesses who are unable to raise adequate funding from the market.

“My strong advice to companies is, if you haven’t already done so, to prepare an assessment of your financial requirements and progress funding applications to the banks and the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) immediately. Enterprise Ireland’s new Business Financial Planning grant will help companies to prepare a Business Sustainment Plan.”

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD also announced three new supports available from Enterprise Ireland:

• The new €2 million Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme will be open to retailers employing over 10 people to develop a more competitive online offer. Successful applicants will receive funding support of up to 80% of project costs, with a maximum grant of €40,000

• A new Business Financial Planning Grant 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 when applying for funding

• A new €2,500 LEAN Business Continuity Voucher to help companies quickly access expertise in reviewing and optimising operations at a time of crisis to identify the key measures needed to ensure continued operations.

Julie Sinnamon continued, “Ensuring continued operations during this time is challenging for companies and our new LEAN Business Continuity Voucher will help companies access external expertise to put in place crisis management support and training to ensure that processes can be established to ensure business continuity.

“Similarly, the Covid-19 pandemic has put exceptional pressure on the retail sector in Ireland and the Online Retail Scheme funding announced will help support retailers who have found they will have to rapidly adapt their approach to enable online ordering and delivery to meet the new reality of home working and physical distancing restrictions.”

The €2 million Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme is a grant for retail companies with greater than 10 employees to develop a more competitive online offer. This competitive call has a budget of €2 million. Successful applicants will receive funding support of up to 80 percent of project costs, with a maximum grant of €40,000.