Push for Leitrim businesses to take up state Covid schemes

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Push for Leitrim businesses to take up state Covid schemes

Leitrim County Council has awarded Restart Grant payments to 345 businesses, with 467 businesses benefiting from payments under the Restart Grant Plus Scheme.

The Restart Grant and Restart Grant Plus schemes were designed to help small and medium sized businesses get back on their feet after what has been an exceptionally difficult time. The Restart Grant scheme was launched on 15 May, 2020 with a budget of €250 million. The Restart Grant Plus scheme was launched on 10 August with an additional budget of €300m from the Government’s July Jobs Stimulus as a result of the increasing demand for the scheme.

The purpose of the schemes was to help with the cost of reopening or adapting business premises so that normal business could resume. Grant payments were administered by the Local Authorities via the commercial rates system as this was considered the most effective means to get urgent financial assistance to small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The Restart Grant Plus scheme closed to new applications on 31 October and the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) operated by the Revenue Commissioners is now in place.

As at 3rd December,  just 4 businesses in County Leitrim have availed of COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme and have drawn loans with a value of €69,600

A number of new lenders will join AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank early in the new year offering new product-lines. These new lenders will ensure increased regional availability of finance.

Loans of up to €1 million are available for up to five and a half years. Loans under €250,000 do not require collateral or personal guarantees and the State will cover 80 per cent of nay claims under the scheme.

The Scheme was originally scheduled to run until 31 December 2020, in line with the requirements of the European Commission’s Temporary Framework on State Aid. Following the extension of the terms of this Framework, the Government approved, on 24 November, the extension of the Scheme to run until 30 June 2021. It is available to SMEs, and companies with under 500 employees and primary producers.

Also read: New Covid restrictions expected for Christmas