MEANit Guide To
Covid Business Supports
To ensure you are aware of the COVID business supports available to you, we have gathered information on some Government grants which may help sustain your business and prepare it to flourish when the world begins to turn again.
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COVID Business Supports For the Covid-19 Period
Business Continuity Voucher up to €2500
The new Business Continuity Voucher, available through Local Enterprise Offices, is designed for businesses across every sector that employ up to 50 people. The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The goal is to help companies make informed decisions about what immediate measures and remedial actions should be taken, to protect staff and sales.
If your application is successful, a qualified expert will be selected by your Local Enterprise Office to work with you on your business continuity plans. The value of this service is up to a maximum of €2,500.
Oisin Geoghegan of LEO said “For a huge number of small businesses, survival is the over-riding objective at this time so making the right decisions is crucial. There is where the new Business Continuity Voucher can help. The kind of areas that the voucher will help will vary, depending on the needs of each business, but it will include very important measures such as preparing a business case for application to emergency funding, developing a business continuity plan, reducing variable costs, reviewing and exploring supply chain financing options, implementing remote working processes or procedures, and leveraging expertise in HR and ICT.”
Expanded Trading Online Voucher up to €2500
Under the Government’s National Digital Strategy, the expanded Trading Online Voucher Scheme helps small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade more online, boost sales and reach new markets. There is up to €2,500 available through the Local Enterprise Offices with co-funding of 10% from the business* Training and further business supports are also provided by Local Enterprise Offices and businesses that have already received a Trading Online Voucher can now apply for a second voucher, where upgrades are required.
Funding can be used towards adding payment facilities or booking systems to your website or towards subscriptions to low cost online retail platform solutions, to help companies quickly establish a retailing presence online.
What the vouchers can be used for exactly:
- IT consultation
- Development or upgrade of an e-commerce website
- Implementing Online payments or booking systems
- Purchase of Internet related software
- Purchase of online advertising (this purchase cannot make up any more than 30% of approved Voucher costs and can only be drawn down in one payment phase)
- Developing an app (or multiplatform webpages)
- Development of a digital marketing strategy
- Implementing a digital marketing strategy
- Training/skills development specifically to establish and manage an on-line trading activity.
Every Local Enterprise Office has its own e-mail address and you’ll find these addresses HERE. OR talk to us now.
Enterprise eCommerce Grant up to €40,000 – COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme
COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme or Enterprise eCommerce Grant available to a max of €40,000 or 80% of project costs, minimum of €10,000. This is for any Irish-owned retail enterprise with 10 or more employees before 29th February 2020, with a retail outlet and with an existing online presence of some sort.
Eligible costs include: salary costs up to €200 a day for one person internally and external consultancy fees to develop a digital strategy, enhance the company’s website or to provide training for the eCommerce project. See more info HERE or watch the recorded Webinar HERE for a video explanation.
Apply by 3.00 pm on Wednesday 20th May 2020. Any questions email : [email protected]
Under the Local Enterprise Office Mentor Programme, clients work with an experienced mentor to identify solutions to areas of exposure within their business.
With advice and guidance from their mentor, clients develop strategies that are more robust, which address issues and maximise potential opportunities when the COVID-19 crisis comes to an end. Mentoring services are now free of charge. This is the ideal first step to find out what to do next and how to benefit most from the varied supports available to you. E-mail or telephone your Local Enterprise Office to find out more.
New COVID -19 Business Loan
*First 6 months – Interest & Repayment Free
*New low rate of 4.5% through the Local Enterprise Offices
The COVID-19 Business Loan from Microfinance Ireland (MFI), in partnership with Local Enterprise Offices, is a Government-funded initiative to support small businesses through the current period of uncertainty.
It’s designed for micro-enterprises that are a) having difficulty accessing Bank finance and b) impacted, or may be impacted negatively, by COVID-19 resulting in a reduction of 15% or more in turnover or profit.
- Business Loans of up to €50,000 are available for eligible micro-enterprises (ie businesses with less than 10 employees and up to €2m annual turnover) that are currently trading
- Loans may be used for working capital and required business changes as a result of COVID-19
- Loan terms are typically up to 3 years
- 6 months interest free and repayment free moratorium, with the loan to then be repaid over the remaining 30 months of the 36-month loan period.
- New low interest rate of 4.5% if submitted through Local Enterprise Office or referred by your Bank and 5.5% if you apply to Microfinance Ireland directly
- No fees or hidden costs with fixed repayments. No penalty for early repayment
Capital expenditure, and in exceptional circumstances working capital loans, may be funded up to 5 years. Here’s a link to Frequently Asked Questions about the Loan HERE.