Written answers

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)
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12. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if he will consider implementing a mechanism for businesses to switch from lesser Covid restrictions support scheme payments to greater small business assistance scheme for Covid payments or to claim the balance under the scheme to augment their Covid restrictions support scheme payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17934/21]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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CRSS was designed to provide a well targeted support to assist those public facing businesses located in areas where public health restrictions were in place. The amount payable was based on the eligible business’s turnover for a comparative period pre-pandemic. Turnover provided an equitable proxy by which to calculate the costs which the business incurred, meaning that payments were commensurate with these ongoing costs.

The SBASC was designed to provide assistance to those businesses who do not qualify for CRSS or other similar sectoral support schemes. As SBASC is being administered by the 31 Local Authorities, a requirement was that the Scheme be straightforward to administer for both applicants and administrators alike, which is why a flat rate payment of €4,000 for Q1 was decided on.

The first quarter payment for SBASC is specifically for businesses that are not in receipt of the CRSS during that period and under the terms of the it is not possible to receive both SBASC and CRSS at the same time.

The Deputy will recall we announced at the time of the launch of the SBASC that these payments are not designed to compensate for lost income and are designed to ensure that assistance is provided for unavoidable fixed and ongoing costs to enable businesses to resume when restriction levels are eased. It is also important to note that CRSS has been available to eligible businesses since October 2020 and has included several bonus payments throughout that period, whereas SBASC will only cover period since the start of 2021.

I wish to assure the Deputy, however, that all schemes for which my department is responsible are kept under constant review.

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