COVID-19 recovery business supports

Introduction

Business owners could avail of a number of supports during COVID-19.

This page summarises the financial support schemes, rates waivers and tax measures that are in place to support businesses as they continue to recover from COVID-19.

You can also get advice from your accountant or use the advisory support from your Local Enterprise Office (LEO).

You can get up to date information on supports and guidance for businesses and employers from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

Loans, grants and vouchers

A range of other supports for businesses affected by COVID-19 are available.

The COVID-19 Loan Scheme

The COVID-19 Loan Scheme replaced the COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme (CCGS). It is available to small and medium businesses including farmers, fishers and food businesses. Businesses must have experienced an adverse impact of a minimum 15% in turnover or profit due to the impact of Covid-19.

Loans under the scheme:

  • Range between €25,000 and €1.5 million.
  • Are available with terms of one to 6 years.
  • Are available without security where the loan amount is less than €500,000.
  • The finance will typically feature a lower interest rate than other comparable lending in the market.

Loans can be used for liquidity or working capital, investment and up to 30% of new loans may be allowed for refinancing of existing short-term credit. The scheme is operated by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) through participating lenders. The scheme is available until 31 December 2022 or until it has been fully subscribed.

COVID-19 Business Loans

COVID-19 Business Loans up to €25,000 are available through Microfinance Ireland (MFI). There are no repayments for the first 6 months and the equivalent 12 months interest-free subject to certain terms and conditions. The loan terms are typically up to 3 years and there are no fees or charges.

The loan is open to sole traders, partnerships and limited companies with fewer than 10 full-time employees and annual turnover of up to €2 million. You can apply through the MFI website or through your Local Enterprise Office.

Trading Online Voucher Scheme

A Trading Online Voucher Scheme worth up to €2,500 is available to help small and microenterprises get online. A second voucher of up to €2,500 is also available. Contact your Local Enterprise Office for more information and application details.

Enterprise Support Grant

If you were getting the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance and are reopening your business, you may qualify for the Enterprise Support Grant.

The grant, worth up to €1,000, is aimed at sole traders who do not pay commercial rates.

To apply, download the COVID-19 ESG 1 application form (pdf) and return it your local Intreo Centre.

Rates waiver and tax measures

A number of measures are available to help businesses reduce their operational costs.

Waiving of licence fees for street furniture

For the remainder of 2022, restaurant and café owners do not have to pay street furniture licence fees for tables and chairs used for outdoor dining.

Reduction of standard rate of VAT

The VAT rate for the hospitality and tourism sector will remain at the decreased rate of 9% until 28 February 2023.

‘Warehousing’ of tax liabilities

Debts that are warehoused are subject to 0% interest for the warehoused period. The tax debt warehousing scheme was further extended for some businesses until 1 May 2024.

No interest will be payable up to 30 April 2023 and a reduced interest rate of 3% a year will apply from 1 May 2023. Businesses have until 1 May 2024 to enter into an arrangement to clear the debt.

Find more information on the Debt Warehousing Scheme in Revenue’s Information Booklet (pdf).

More information

You can get up to date information on the COVID-19 supports and guidance for businesses and employers on gov.ie.

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has an Enterprise Information Centre, with information on the Government supports available to businesses affected by COVID-19. Call (01) 631 2002, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm or email: infobusinesssupport@enterprise.gov.ie.

Page edited: 19 October 2022