Thursday, 1 April 2021
Department of Finance
Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
59. To ask the Minister for Finance his views on whether the Covid restrictions support scheme is biased against rural-based businesses; the action he will take to rectify this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17745/21]
The CRSS is a targeted support for businesses significantly impacted by restrictions introduced by the Government under public health regulations to combat the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Details of the CRSS are set out in Finance Act 2020 and detailed operational guidelines, which are based on the terms and conditions of the scheme as set out in the legislation, have been published on the Revenue website.
To qualify under the scheme, a business must carry on a trade or trading activities, the profits from which are chargeable to tax under Case I of Schedule D. The trade must be carried on from a business premises that is located in a region subject to restrictions introduced in line with the Government’s ‘Living with Covid-19 Plan’, with the result that the business is required to prohibit or significantly restrict customers from accessing its business premises.
To make a claim under the CRSS, a business must be able to demonstrate that, because of the Covid restrictions, the turnover of the business in the period for which the restrictions are in operation, and for which a claim is made, will be no more than 25% of an amount equal to the average weekly turnover of the business in 2019 (or average weekly turnover in 2020 in the case of a new business) multiplied by the number of weeks in the period for which a claim is made.
An eligible business can make a claim under the CRSS for a cash payment known as an “Advance Credit for Trading Expenses”. The cash payment will enable an eligible business to meet costs associated with its business premises, such as rent, insurance and utilities, at a time when, because of the specific terms of the Covid restrictions, it cannot, for a period of time, provide goods or services to customers or can only do so to a limited extent. The cash payment will be equal to 10% of the average weekly turnover of the business in 2019 up to €20,000 and 5% thereafter, subject to a maximum weekly payment of €5,000, for each week that the business is affected by the Covid restrictions. For a business established between 26 December 2019 and 12 October 2020, the claim will be based on the average weekly turnover of the business in the period between the date of commencement and 12 October 2020 (subject to a maximum weekly payment of €5,000).
The amount to which a business is entitled under the CRSS is based on turnover of the business rather than where the business is located, subject to the requirement that the business is located in a geographical region for which Covid restrictions are in operation. All parts of the country are subject to the same level of Covid restrictions under current public health regulations.
Revenue has published detailed statistics on the main COVID-19 subsidy schemes since late March 2020, including the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS), the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) and the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS). These statistics are available on the Revenue website and are updated on a weekly basis at this link: .
The county breakdown shows that businesses from all counties are availing of the scheme and less than one quarter of the premises receiving CRSS support are based in Dublin.