On Saturday 2 May 2020 the Government in its special Cabinet meeting agreed a suite of measures to further support small, medium and larger businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

These additional supports are in addition to already existing supports announced previous – referred to below.

One of these latest supports announced, is an extension of the Credit Guarantee Scheme. The other supports announced on 2nd May include;

  • A €2bn Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund within the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (“ISIF”) which will make capital available to medium and large enterprises. This significant support targets medium and larger sized businesses which are those enterprises which employ more than 250 people or have an annual turnover in excess of €50 million. Investments in to successful applicants for this government support will be made on a commercial basis and the supported enterprises must be able to show that their business was commercially viable prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and that they can return to viability and contribute to the Irish economy. The investment will be through a range of instruments including senior debt, hybrid instruments and equity, tailored to the specific business’s circumstances. The Government says that this Fund will compliment the ISIF’s extensive work to date within its existing portfolio of over 100 investments of €2.7bn invested capital to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
  • There will now be a facility for warehousing of tax liabilities for businesses affected for a period of 12 months after recommencement of trading during which there will be no late payment interest applied or enforcement action taken. Businesses however must ensure that all their tax returns are filed up to date as due.
  • Businesses which have had to close their premises will be able to avail of a three month commercial rates waiver. Central government will make up the shortfall to local authorities estimated to be in the regions of €260m.
  • A Restart Fund of €250m is established to make grants available for micro and small businesses to restart their businesses. Details of the fund and grant scheme are to worked out through relevant government authorities but the intended to operate through a system of rates/waiver rebate from commercial rates payments in 2019, subject to a cap of €10,000 per business.Certain of these supports such as the deferral of rates and taxes require, an mentioned to above, enabling legislation to be passed which will only be possible when a new government is in place.These latest supports announced on May 2nd are in addition to the range of initial Government supports for businesses and employees announced in March which included:
  • A €450m Strategic Banking Corporation Ireland (SBCI) COVID-19 working capital scheme
  • A €200m COVID-19 Funding for Future Growth Loan Scheme, also administered by SBCI
  • A €180m Sustaining Enterprise Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland (available to enterprises employing 10 or more full time employees which are operating in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors). This fund offers a repayable advance of up to €800,000.
  • Business loans of up to €50,000 for micro enterprises administered through Microfinance Ireland, to include a 6 months interest free and repayment moratorium.
  • The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment support.

The full text of the Government’s announcement on 2 May is available here.

Deborah Kelly

Deborah Kelly

Partner, Head of Corporate (Ireland)
Dublin, Ireland

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