Thursday, 1 April 2021
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
17. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if he will amend the conditions of the small business assistance scheme for Covid, SBASC, to enable small enterprises that are in receipt of support under the Covid restrictions support scheme, CRSS, to transfer to the new scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18060/21]
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 flat rate payment of €4,000 for the first quarter of 2021 was decided on.
Under the terms of the scheme it is not possible to receive SBASC for periods when businesses are in receipt of payments for CRSS. SBASC is available for Q1 2021 for those businesses that are not in receipt of the CRSS for Q1.
As we indicated at the time of the launch of the SBASC, these payments are not designed to compensate for lost income but to make a contribution to fixed costs and 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 the 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.