• Fingal Dublin Chamber welcomes the opening of applications for the Restart Grant

    Fingal Dublin Chamber welcomes the news that small businesses will be supported in their recovery following the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
     
    Applications for the Restart Grant which will give direct grant aid to micro and small businesses to help them with the costs associated with either staying open or reopening and re-employing workers following COVID-19 closures are being accepted from today, Friday, May 22.
     
    Businesses in Fingal, which fulfil the criteria, must apply for the Restart Grant though Fingal County Council. Applications are to be submitted on-line at https://submit.link/E5RPF
     
    The Grant will be equivalent to the rates bill of the business in 2019, with a minimum payment of €2,000 and a maximum payment of €10,000.
     
    It will be available to businesses with a turnover of less than €5m and employing 50 people or less, which were closed or impacted by at least a 25% loss in revenue from April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020. It is a contribution towards the cost of re-opening or keeping a business operational and re-connecting with employees and customers.
     
    In order to ensure that eligible companies with the most immediate need to get back up-and-running receive the grant support as quickly as possible the awarding of the grant will be aligned to the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening. Eligible businesses who have stayed open throughout the crisis, as well as those who are reopening under Phase 1 (from 18 May) and Phase 2 (8 June) of the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, are encouraged to apply now for the Restart Grant. These applications will be prioritised for payment. Other businesses are requested to wait until a few weeks before their business is due to reopen before submitting their application.
     
    The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Eoghan O’Brien, said: “This is a difficult and challenging time for small businesses across Fingal and the Restart Grant can help them to get back up and running again. These businesses have made huge sacrifices to protect their employees and customers during COVID-19 and now need all the help they can get.”
     
    The Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly said: “I am delighted that the Restart Fund is now available to help our businesses reopen and to get employees back to work. This support, when linked with other supports put in place, including the three-month waiver of commercial rates for businesses forced to close, will help small and micro-enterprises across Fingal to restart their operations and contribute to maintaining employment and economic activity within our communities.”
     
    Fingal County Council’s Director of Economic Enterprise and Tourism Development, Emer O’Gorman, said: “Many businesses, even while closed, continue to incur costs including fixed costs without being able to generate revenues. It is recognised that businesses will also incur costs in preparing their businesses to reopen and meeting the needs of employees and customers. The Restart Grant is designed to alleviate the pressure on businesses in this context.”
     
    Fingal Dublin Chamber Chief Executive, Anthony Cooney, said: “Small businesses in Fingal have been greatly impacted by the pandemic so this is another welcome support as they do their best to get their operations going again. This grant could assist a business in covering bills they incurred while closed or cover the cost of making changes to their premise to adhere to physical distancing guidelines. Helping with such liabilities at this uncertain time could mean the saving of a small local business. In the long-run, there are huge social and economic benefits to be gained from keeping people employed and successful businesses running.
     
    The processing of applications and payment of the Restart Grant will depend on the initial surge of applications but, as far as is feasible, will be prioritised according to scheduled re-opening dates in the national Roadmap.
     
    To avail of the Restart Grant:
    1. A business must have a turnover of less than €5m and have 50 or less employees.
    2. The business must have suffered a projected 25%+ loss in revenue from 1st April 2020 to 30th June 2020.
    3. The business must commit to remain open or to reopen if it was closed. The business must also declare the intention to retain employees that are benefitting from the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).
    4. Businesses should retain supporting documentation as spot-checks may be carried out to verify a declaration to this effect.
       
    The grant is a contribution towards the cost of re-opening or keeping a business operational and re-connecting with employees and customers. The grant could be used to defray ongoing fixed costs, e.g. utilities, insurance, refurbishment or for measures to ensure employee and customer safety.
     
    This direct grant support is part of the wider €12bn package of Government supports for firms of all sizes, which includes grants, low-cost loans, write-off of commercial rates and deferred tax liabilities, all of which will help to improve cashflow amongst SMEs.
     
    Business Categories, based on the Government’s Roadmap for a phased re-opening of the economy, are as set out below:
     
    Phase 1 (May 18) 
    Hardware, garden centres, opticians, motor/cycle repairs, office products, electrical, IT equipment, phone sales/repairs, outdoor construction, public amenities.
    Phase 2 (June 8)
    Small retail outlets, marts.
    Phase 3 (June 29)
    Creches for essential workers, retail outlets with street entrance, cafes, and restaurants for on-premises consumption.
    Phase 4 (July 20)
    Creches, ‘high-risk’ services including hairdressers, tourism accommodation.
    Phase 5 (August 10)                             
    Bars, theatres, cinemas, gyms, shopping centres.
     

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