By Chamber Press Office, 15 May 2020
Dublin Chamber has welcomed the announcement by Government today of a new Restart Grant for micro and small businesses.
Dublin Chamber said the grants of up to €10,000 will prove the difference in enabling many small firms to get back up and running following Covid-19.
Dublin Chamber CEO Mary Rose Burke said: "The biggest issue for small firms right now is cashflow. The injection of finance that the Restart Grant will provide means that firms will have the means to re-open and to start re-building their business. For a small retailer or company needing to buy stock in order to re-open, this is exactly the help they require as the re-opening of the economy gets underway. Getting back up and running will be costly for many firms, therefore this help will come as a welcome boost."
Dublin Chamber welcomed the decision to apply a minimum grant level of €2,000 for companies applicable for the grant. However, the Chamber expressed disappointment that the grant is only available to firms with a turnover of less than €5 million, cautioning that many small firms in need of support will miss out.
Ms Burke said: “The decision to apply a minimum grant level (€2,000), rather than limiting any grant to a firm’s commercial rates bill in 2019, is welcome. Previous considerations had been to base any grant purely on a firm’s rates bill, which would have severely limited the amount of money available to firms with low commercial rates bills. We would urge the Government to reconsider the decision to close off the grant to firms with turnover of more than €5 million. It would make sense to increase the turnover limit to €10 million – the accepted turnover threshold for what defines a small firm in the EU. The €5m cap means that many small firms who need this grant to restart their business will miss out.”
Dublin Chamber also welcomed the announcement that the Government is proceeding with Phase 1 of its plan to ease the Covid-19 restrictions.
Ms Burke said: "The road to economic recovery will be long, but moving to Phase 1 on schedule is a positive step. The re-opening of society will require a balancing act between protecting peoples' health and encouraging the recovery of the economy. Many businesses, both big and small, are currently in a fragile place with mounting costs and ever-reducing levels of cashflow. The longer companies remain closed or restrained operationally, the bigger the impact and higher the risk there will be to their long-term viability. We look forward to working further with Government to ensure that business and society can get back to normal in the most appropriate timeframe possible."