**Important information for all rate-paying Equestrian businesses in ROI – Applications open today for Government Covid-19 Restart Grant

  • 22 May 2020, 15:55
  • Direct grant aid of between €2,000 minimum and €10,000 based on commercial rates bill from 2019.
  • Scheme applies to small businesses with a turnover of under €5m and employing 50 people or less.
  • Scheme opens for applications on Friday 22 May through the Local Authorities.

Applications have opened today (Friday May 22nd) for the Irish Government’s new €250m Restart Grant, which 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 will be available to businesses, including all rate-paying ROI equestrian businesses, with a turnover of less than €5m and employing 50 people or less, which were closed or impacted by at least a 25% reduction in turnover out to 30th June 2020. It is a contribution towards the cost of re-opening or keeping a business operational and re-connecting with employees and customers.

The grants will be equivalent to the rates bill of the business in 2019, with a minimum payment of €2,000 and a maximum payment of €10,000.

Speaking about the Covid-19 Restart Grant, Horse Sport Ireland CEO Ronan Murphy said:

“Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on Equestrian businesses across the country. We have seen some of our centres and riding schools taking the first steps towards reopening this week and I would encourage all qualifying equestrian business to contact their local authority regarding the rate support grant to assist with the recovery process.”

Processing of applications and payment of the Restart Grant will depend on the initial surge of applications but, as far as is feasible, will be prioritised according to scheduled re-opening dates in the national Roadmap.

This direct grant support is part of the wider €12bn package of supports for firms of all sizes, which includes grants, low-cost loans, write-off of commercial rates and deferred tax liabilities, all of which will help to improve cashflow amongst our SMEs.

The Government Covid-19 Restart Grant application process is administered through your Local Authority. To make an application, please click HERE for a link to the full list of ROI Local Authorities.

Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TD, said:

“I very much welcome the Restart Fund and in particular, the important role that local authorities, who have direct links to small and micro enterprises through their Local Enterprise Offices, will play in the administration of the Fund. This support, when linked with other supports put in place, including the 3 month waiver of commercial rates for businesses forced to close, will help small and micro enterprises re-starting their operations and contribute to maintaining employment and economic activity.”

About the Restart Grant
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. It is recognised that businesses will also incur costs in preparing their businesses to reopen and meeting the needs of employees and customers. The Restart Grant is designed to alleviate the pressure on businesses in this context.

To avail of the Restart Grant, a business must be in the Local Authorities Commercial Rates Payment System and:

  • have an annual turnover of less than €5m and employ between 1 to 50 people;
  • have closed and/or suffered a projected 25%+ loss in turnover to end June 2020;
  • commit to remain open or to reopen if it was closed;
  • declare the intention to retaining employees that are on The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) and to reemploy staff on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment where applicable.

The grant can be used to defray ongoing fixed costs, for replenishing stock and for measures needed to ensure employee and customer safety.

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