Does your business need cash flow support because it is suffering the economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak? You may need help paying salaries, settling supplier bills, staying in business, or helping you grow your business online.
The Irish government, local business offices, Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and An Post have put in place measures to support the cash flow of Irish businesses.
Business funds and loans are also available for business owners to avail when they need more financial support to get through this crisis.
Business continuity voucher
A new business continuity voucher is available at local company offices for companies with up to 50 employees. The voucher has a value of €2,500 and can be used by businesses and individual merchants to develop short and long term strategies to respond to the COVID-19 emergency in third-party consulting fees.
Customers of Enterprise Ireland, IDA or Údarás na Gaeltachta should contact their relevant agency by sending them an inquiry form by email for further appropriate support.
Trading online voucher scheme
A new trading online voucher system worth up to €2,500 is available through local business offices to help small and micro businesses start or grow an online business.
Businesses that have started to find success using this first voucher can request a second voucher for an amount of up to €2,500, like the first. Funding for this program has increased from €2 million to €20 million.
Enterprise support grant
If you are receiving Unemployment Benefit in the event of a COVID-19 pandemic (PUP), Jobseeker's Allowance or Job Search Allowance and decide to reopen your business, you can claim the business support subsidy. The program has been open since August 14, 2020.
The grant, worth up to €1,000, is intended for individual businesses that do not pay commercial tariffs and are therefore not eligible for the government restart grant program. It aims to help cover the cost of essential equipment needed to run your business.
You have access to this business support grant if:
- You have received unemployment benefit in the event of a COVID-19 pandemic or jobseeker's allowance or jobseeker's allowance and have closed your application since May 18, 2020
- Your business was in operation before March 2020, has closed due to the pandemic and has since reopened
- You have less than 10 employees
- You achieve an annual turnover of less than 1 million euros
- You comply with PRSI and tax standards
The Business Support Grant is not available if you are liable for commercial tariffs or if your business is eligible for other COVID-19 Business Restart Grants from other government departments, including the Business Restart Grant. COVID-19 business and the child care reopening grant.
2019-2024 Seed and Venture Capital Program
An additional EUR 10 million is available as funding from Enterprise Ireland's seed and venture capital program. The program is intended for young start-ups, in particular those affected by COVID-19.
Credit Guarantee Scheme
A €2 billion COVID-19 credit guarantee scheme provides 80% guarantee on SME loans until the end of 2020, for terms of between 3 months and 6 years. SMEs will be able to apply directly to the banks of the scheme, and the guarantee can be used for a range of loan products between 10,000 and 1 million euros and for a maximum period of 6 years. It will be accessible to SMEs from all sectors.
The COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme is a further development of the existing Credit Guarantee Scheme which is already available from AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, and it will be possible for other lenders have access to the system.
Pandemic Stabilization and Recovery Fund
A €2 billion pandemic stabilization and stimulus fund within the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), will make capital available to medium and large companies on commercial terms.
Working capital loan scheme
Loans of 25,000 to 1.5 million euros are available for viable micro, small and medium enterprises and small mid-sized enterprises, which meet the eligibility criteria under the Working Capital Loan Scheme, managed by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI).
Loans have a maximum interest rate of 4% and the first $ 500,000 borrowed may be unsecured. Nominations can be made on the SBCI website.
Future growth loan scheme
The Future Growth Loan Program is available to businesses in Ireland, even for the agriculture and fishing sectors. Loans range from €25,000 to €3,000,000 for terms of 7 to 10 years. The loans have a maximum interest rate of 4.5% and the first €500,000 borrowed may be unsecured.
MicroFinance Ireland offers loans to microenterprises up to €25,000. These are sole proprietorships, partnerships and limited liability companies with less than 10 full-time employees and with an annual turnover of up to 2 million euros. Applications can be made through the MFI website or through your local corporate office.
Business financial planning grant
A corporate financial planning grant from Enterprise Ireland worth €5,000 enables companies to develop a sustainable development plan and engage the services of a licensed financial consultant.
If your business is suffering from the economic and health crisis in Ireland, there are a number of supports and aids available for business owners to help you and your employees. Do not hesitate to use it to save your business.