Further €6.5bn virus supports from Govt for businesses

Further €6.5bn virus supports from Govt for businesses

The Government recently signed off on a €6.5bn package of new supports to help businesses reopen as Covid-19 restrictions are slowly lifted.

The minister said these new measures would build on what has already been done to help businesses.

They involve up to €2bn in guaranteed loans to help our small and medium businesses and enterprises.

The waiving of €260 million of commercial rates and the new restart fund for micro and small businesses.

However, over €4 billion worth of the supports package cannot be rolled out until a new government is formed.

There will also be new arrangements to help firms deal with accumulated tax liabilities.

Revenue will warehouse these debts at a zero interest rates for a period of 12 months after trading recommences.

During that year there will be no debt enforcement action taken.

There will also be a new Restart Fund, worth €250 million, to assist micro and small businesses through grants.

The funding on offer will be linked to what was paid by each firm in commercial rates last year and will be capped at €10,000.

Calls from business groups for a loan guarantee scheme for SMEs have also been heard, with a €2bn credit guarantee scheme due to be set up.

Loans will range from €10,000 to €1 million and be 80% guaranteed.

Terms will be between three months and six years, and interest rates will be below market rates.

An additional €2bn Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund will also be established under the auspices of the Irish Strategic Investment Fund.

It will offer capital larger businesses on commercial terms.

It comes after the Government yesterday set out its road map on easing the Covid-19 restrictions.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys said the Government's road map sets out a pathway in "getting Ireland back to work" from 18 May.

Also speaking at today's briefing, she said businesses now need to focus on what is within their control and make plans in accordance with the timeframe the government has set out.

"I strongly encourage them to engage with State agencies so they can get the guidance and advice they need on what steps they can take now to ensure their workplace is safe to open whenever the time comes."

She said the last few weeks have seen some of the darkest days ever for Irish businesses but there is now some light at the end of the tunnel.

"If we continue to work together and keep Covid-19 under control, then by 10 August all businesses can open their doors again. My message to businesses, is the government is here to help you."

She said the package of measures the Government announced today is in addition to the measures that were brought in three weeks ago.

She said they include grants, loans' right off of commercial rates and the deferral of tax liabilities.

Ms Humphreys said the announcement of the Restart Fund via the local authorities will help small businesses in towns and villages meet fixed costs.

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