Written answers

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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2. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if matters raised in correspondence by a person (details supplied) on casual traders and the Covid-19 business aid scheme will receive a response; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9065/21]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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I understand this is an incredibly difficult time for businesses and families across the country.

The Government has put in place a comprehensive range of measures to help businesses and workers during the pandemic, including the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), the COVID-19 Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), low-cost loans, the deferral and warehousing of tax liabilities and the waiver of commercial rates. Details of the wide range of COVID-19 schemes are available on my Department’s website at .

On 9th February last, I announced a new €60m Scheme, called the COVID-19 Business Aid Scheme (CBAS) that is being developed to provide grants to businesses ineligible for the Government’s other existing schemes such as CRSS and is designed to help with fixed costs. Wholesalers, suppliers, caterers and events companies down 75% or more in turnover and in receipt of a rates bill may benefit, including those that commenced after the 1st November 2019 where their turnover is below projections.

We are committed to helping businesses respond to the economic challenges arising from the pandemic with a particular focus on firms that do not qualify for the weekly CRSS grant from the Revenue Commissioners or existing sectorial schemes in areas such as the arts, transport and tourism.

This new CBAS will help some businesses that are not eligible for existing grants, largely due to the fact that the premises they operate from have not been closed to the public. We estimate that this will help approximately 7,500 businesses. While the grant is modest it will be of substantial assistance to smaller businesses with some of their fixed costs like rent, utilities and security.

The Government is very much open to proposals as to how we can help businesses further. However, our schemes are there to help meet fixed costs that cannot be avoided and to provide basic weekly income support up to maximum of €350 per week. We are not providing compensation for loss of personal income above this level or compensation for loss of profits for any sector.


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