Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Photo of Louise O'ReillyLouise O'Reilly (Dublin Fingal, Sinn Fein)
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212. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if his Department has reviewed the correspondence provided by this Deputy to him on 23 November 2020, which was a follow-up in relation to his commitment given in the Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment on 18 November 2020 to examine the limitations of the Covid restrictions support scheme and which are excluding many businesses in the events industry as well as upstream suppliers. [44268/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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I thank the Deputy for her correspondence which has added to the information my officials and I have gathered concerning businesses that face difficult trading conditions because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but do not qualify for the COVID-19 Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS).

Under the Scheme, a qualifying person is one who carries on a business activity that is impacted by COVID-19 related restrictions. This means the person must operate from a fixed premises which allows for access by the public and the the level of turnover of the business must be only a maximum of 25% of the average weekly turnover in 2019.

These criteria, particularly the access by the public to a premises, has meant a number of business who have suffered significant falls in revenue do not quality for CRSS.

It is important to note the significant additional resources the Government allocated in the Budget, excluding CRSS, to provide help to different sectors. I would highlight the €395m provided to the Department of Transport and the €222m allocated to the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

These additional monies will go towards supporting businesses, including those not in receipt of the COVID-19 Restrictions Scheme, such as through the €30m for private bus operators, €55m for a focused business scheme for strategic tourism businesses along with a €50m scheme for the live entertainment sector.

These are in addition to financial assistance and other schemes provided to businesses via Enterprise Ireland, InterTrade Ireland and Local Enterprise Offices.

Notwithstanding these additional resources, I recognise the issue raised by the Deputy on CRSS and I have received similar representations.

I have asked my officials to work with other relevant Departments to identify the type and number of businesses that fall outside the scope of the CRSS and to report back to me with proposals on how to proceed.


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