• Fingal Dublin Chamber Chief Executive Update (September 2020)

     Dear member,

    As we approach 6 months since the initial Government ‘lockdown’, no one could have predicted how challenging 2020 would be for businesses. Recovering from the necessary restrictions caused by a pandemic is an immense challenge and we are all having to adapt.

    Fingal Chamber, the Chamber Network and Chambers Ireland are all playing a part in this effort and our message to the business community has been clear from the start: We are here to help. We will assist you through this crisis and help prepare you for the recovery.

    Below you will find some useful information supports, updates and an opportunity for you to provide feedback on where your business is and what future supports you would like to see.
    Restart Grant Plus
    The Restart Plus Grant is available to businesses with a turnover of up to €25m and employing 250 people or less, which were closed or impacted by at least a 25% loss in revenue from April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020. The grant is a contribution towards the cost of re-opening or keeping a business operational and re-connecting with employees and customers. The turnover allowed has risen from €5m to €25m but there is a cap of €100,000 turnover per employee.

    The maximum grant under Restart Grant Plus has increased, compared to the original Restart Grant, from €10,000 to €25,000 while the minimum grant has gone from €2,000 to €4,000.
    Businesses that have already received funding under the Restart Grant do not need to re-apply under the Restart Grant Plus Scheme.  

    Eligible businesses can make an application for the Restart Grant Plus via the online portal at https://fingalrestart.submit.com/show/107 and details of the scheme are also available on the Fingal County Council website. The closing date for applications is September 30.
    Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS)
    There are a number of additions and clarifications since the last guidelines issued on the 14th August all of which can be viewed here.
    Free Public Wi-Fi in Fingal Towns
    Fingal County Council, in partnership with Fingal Dublin Chamber and Magnet Networks, is moving onto the next phase of delivering free outdoor public Wi-Fi to towns and villages across the County over the coming months.

    Fingal County Council staff, as well as representatives from Fingal Dublin Chamber and Magnet Networks, have begun visiting local businesses with a view to identifying suitable access points in order to enable the public Wi-Fi service. The access points need to be mounted on the outside of each selected premises and has a range of 150m outside but will not extend inside the business premises or interfere with the business’ own broadband.

    In this era of digitalisation, the provision of free wi-fi in public spaces will be a benefit to the citizens, visitors, and businesses across Fingal. The Chamber supports this initiative as it will ensure more people in our towns can go online free-of-charge, where they might find products and services they can purchase nearby. We are working with Fingal County Council to help identify the optimal locations for the hotspots and look forward to talking to businesses about how we can all maximise this great opportunity.
    See It Say It Swords
    During the Summer, Fingal Dublin Chamber, in partnership with Fingal County Council and An Garda Síochána, launched ‘See Something, Say Something’, a new public service initiative which allows members of the public in Swords to confidentially report incidents to Gardai by texting SWORDS and the incident details to 50555. The free text message will be received by the sergeant on duty and it will be acted upon immediately by local Gardaí.

    Very distinctive promotional signage highlighting the See Something, Say Something text number – including signs, posters and stickers – have been erected in several high-visibility outdoor and indoor vantage points in and around the town and the public is being encouraged to embrace the initiative and use it to tackle suspicious or illegal behaviour.

    We are delighted to support this initiative because it will improve Swords and promote greater cooperation between the citizens and businesses of the town and An Garda Síochána.
    Latest Business Community Survey - Q3 2020
    As you’ll know we have been running a series of surveys over the last few months to assess the impact that Covid-19 and the associated restrictions are having on businesses throughout the area, thank you for your assistance to date.

    We have published our latest Business Community Survey and we're looking for your feedback. 
    As Budget 2021 approaches next month, we want to hear from you on how your business is doing against the ongoing impact of COVID-19. Please click the link below and take 5 minutes to complete the survey.

    Click here to access the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CI_FingalSurvey
    As ever, if there is anything you feel the Chamber may be able to assist you with at this time please do contact me.
    Yours faithfully,
    Anthony Cooney
    Chief Executive
    Fingal Dublin Chamber