As the country gets an indication of when it will start to return to work, business will need money to get moving again to return to some sort of normality. But money is only effective if it is shared; companies need to pay their bills to keep everybody trading. So far, the Government has been supportive, now we must support each other.
Impressive is the word we have to use when describing the State’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, particularly for small companies and employees, particularly in the early days. No doubt there will be crisis measures as the situation developes. On Saturday last, the Government agreed measures to further support small, medium and larger business that are negatively impacted by COVID-19. It follows the publication the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society & Business, which sets out a five-stage plan to ease the COVID-19 restrictions and designed to help businesses play their part in reopening of Ireland’s economy. These are in addition to the previous measures which included emergency income support such as the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Included in the extended measures
- a €10,000 restart grant for micro and small businesses based on a rates/waiver rebate from 2019
- a three-month commercial rates waiver for impacted businesses
- a €2 billion Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund within the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), which will make capital available to medium and large enterprises
- a €2 billion COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme to support lending to SMEs for terms ranging from 3 months to 6 years, which will be below market interest rates
- the ‘warehousing’ of tax liabilities for a period of twelve months after recommencement of trading during which time there will be no debt enforcement action taken by Revenue
- a commitment to Local Authorities to make up the rates shortfall, so that local authorities can continue provide full services to the public More details should follow in the coming days from the respective Ministers/Departments on the details of how to avail of these supports.
While these measures will not be enough to save every job or business, they will go a long way.