It's back to business in Liberty Square, Thurles similar to many other town centres around the county
Throughout Tipperary, businesses have re-opened this week, albeit in very different circumstances to what would have been regarded as the norm.
It has emerged this week that just 900 of the 4,000 eligible Tipperary businesses have applied for the re-starting business grant from the government, as The Premier County gets back into the swing of business as usual - or as usual as it is going to be for the foreseeable future at least.
The news was relayed to members of Tipperary County Council at their June monthly meeting held in Clonmel when head of Finance, Mr Liam McCarthy said that his department is in the throes of processing the applications and forwarding them to the department for payment.
Throughout Tipperary, businesses have re-opened this week, albeit in very different circumstances to what would have been regarded as the norm. The new norm is now a changed reality, but the tills are jingling, cash is changing hands and the local economy is back up and running.
After an enforced spring and early summer of hibernation, there is a renewed energy and buzz with town centres coming to life and trade resuming. And, the key message for all is; stay local; shop local; and keep local jobs.
The government has set aside a €250 million Restart Grant which is being administered through the county councils. For the successful recipients, this will give direct grant aid to micro and small businesses to help them with the costs associated with reopening and reemploying workers following COVID-19 closures. The Grant Programme is devised as a contribution towards the cost of re-opening or keeping a business operational, and reconnecting with employees and customers.
The grant will be the amount of a business’ rates assessment for 2019 (excluding arrears), subject to a minimum of €2,000 and a maximum of €10,000 (i.e. businesses who paid less than €2,000 are eligible to claim €2,000. The scheme applies to small businesses with a turnover of under €5 million and employing 50 people or less, which were closed or impacted by at least a 25% reduction in turnover out to 30 June 2020.
The grant is intended as a contribution towards the cost of reopening or keeping a business operational and re-connecting with employees and customers, therefore businesses must commit to remain open or to reopen if it was closed and declare their intention to retaining employees that are on the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS). This is good news for over 4,000 small businesses in the county who can now access this grant to help defray ongoing fixed costs, e.g. utilities, insurance, refurbishment or for measures to ensure employee and customer safety. Micro and small businesses are particularly vulnerable to the economic effects of COVID-19. Many businesses, even while closed, continue to incur costs including fixed costs without being able to generate revenues and the Restart Grant can be a real lifeline for them.