Local Fine Gael Councillor, John Dolan, has urged small and micro businesses to apply for the new €250m Restart Grant, which will give direct grant aid to help them with the costs associated with reopening and reemploying workers following COVID-19 closures.
“The grant will be available to businesses with a turnover of less than €5m and employing 50 people or less, which were closed or impacted by at least a 25 percent reduction in turnover out to June 30 2020.
“It is a contribution towards the cost of re-opening or keeping a business operational and re-connecting with employees and customers. The grants will be equivalent to the rates bill of the business in 2019, with a minimum payment of €2,000 and a maximum payment of €10,000,” Cllr. Dolan asserted.
Designed to assist businesses as they strive to recover from the COVID-19 impact, Cllr. Dolan stated that the grant can be used to defray ongoing fixed costs, for replenishing stock and for measures needed to ensure employee and customer safety.
“I am acutely aware of the difficulties facing small businesses in Westmeath during these challenging times. Small businesses, whether it be the local hairdresser, café or clothes shop, are absolutely vital to the social fabric of our towns and villages throughout the county.
“In response to the very significant economic challenges posed by COVID-19, the Government has moved swiftly to introduce a range of measures to support enterprises of all sizes. These measures have included supports for wage costs, liquidity supports and the deferral or waiver of payments.
“The Restart Grant will further help to support activity and employment across Westmeath,” Cllr. Dolan emphasised.
Applications for the Restart Grant can be made online to local authorities from Friday, May 22.
Processing of applications and payment of the Restart Grant will depend on the initial surge of applications but, as far as is feasible, will be prioritised according to scheduled re-opening dates in the national Roadmap.
This direct grant support is part of the wider €12bn package of supports for firms of all sizes, which includes grants, low-cost loans, write-off of commercial rates and deferred tax liabilities, all of which will help to improve cashflow amongst our SMEs.