Brendan Smith welcomes opening of funding scheme to help businesses with fixed costs

Fianna Fail TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith has welcomed the opening of a funding scheme to help businesses with fixed costs. 

The Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID (SBASC) opened for a second round of applications from both SMEs and microenterprises today. Businesses that received the grant in the first round can receive a second grant provided they are still eligible. 

From today SMEs and microenterprises can apply for a grant of €4,000 for those with turnover above €50,000 and €1,000 for microenterprises with a turnover of between €20,000 and €49,999, via a new streamlined application process through their Local Authority or Local Enterprise Office. 

Following on from a recent Government decision, businesses operating from non-rateable premises, such as a home office or hot-desk are also eligible to apply. 

Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “This scheme can be a huge help for smaller businesses to get back up and running again following the pandemic restrictions. I encourage all eligible businesses to avail of the support by contacting their Local Enterprise Office and should they need any additional help in applying please contact me or my office.” 

The Cavan and Monaghan TD added: “I hope this will be the start of better days ahead for businesses that have endured so much hardship in the past year. Small businesses, in particular, are the cornerstone of our economy and need as much support as can be mustered.” 

The Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID (SBASC) is for businesses which are not eligible for CRSS or other sector specific grants, that are down 75% or more of turnover. 

Those who applied under Phase 1 are still eligible to apply for a second payment of €4,000 or €1,000 if they continue to meet the criteria. Interested businesses should contact their Local Authority or LEO. Closing date for Phase 2 applications is the 21st of July. 

Businesses in receipt of the Employment Wage Subsidy can apply for and receive this grant without it affecting their claim.  It is a grant, not a loan or tax credit and is not re-payable. 

These schemes are in addition to the comprehensive package the Government has put in place to help businesses and workers during the pandemic, including the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), low-cost loans, the deferral and warehousing of tax liabilities and the waiver of commercial rates. 

Deputy Smith’s party colleague, Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy T.D. added: “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and their recovery will be central to our jobs-led recovery. As we gradually reopen society, the expansion and streamlining of SBASC for Q2 applications to assist both small and micro enterprises will help address some of their fixed costs as they get back to business. While modest, Government is committed to supporting their long-term viability, particularly as we move into the early stages of recovery.

 “Through the various policies, financial support schemes available and regulatory responses currently underway we hope to rebuild a better, more resilient economy. Engagement will continue to ensure we are responsive to the needs of business and I encourage small businesses to ensure they are aware of the supports available to them.”