Enterprise Ireland Business Response – Covid-19

Covid 19 Guide cover
Download Enterprise Ireland Covid -19 (Coronavirus) Business Response Plan

Enterprise Ireland has a number of supports available to help businesses mitigate the impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

Enterprise Ireland is working with all government stakeholders to ensure that businesses are prepared and informed on the most up-to-date advice and supports available.

Our over-riding advice for Irish businesses is to review the travel risk advice by the Department of Foreign Affairs, the health advice from the Department of Health and global advice from the World Health Organisation

You can also access the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation Business Continuity Planning Checklist.

Enterprise Ireland will update this webpage to reflect new developments as they arise.

For further information on the supports outlined here or for any queries you may have, email the Business Response Unit at GA-BSF@enterprise-ireland.com

In line with the Government’s statement on mitigating the impacts of Covid-19, Enterprise Ireland is currently rescheduling a number of upcoming events and will update clients in due course. In the meantime, please visit www.enterprise-ireland.com/events to keep up to date with any changes over the coming days and weeks.

The Government announced on 24th March a National Covid-19 Income Support Scheme to provide financial support to Irish workers and companies affected by the crisis. In summary this will provide the following:

  • a temporary wage subsidy of 70% of take home pay up to a maximum weekly tax free amount of €410 per week to help affected companies keep paying their employees. This is the equivalent of €500 per week before tax;
  • workers who have lost their jobs due to the crisis will receive an enhanced emergency Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 per week (an increase from €203);
  • the Covid-19 illness payment will also be increased to €350 per week;
  • Self-Employed will be eligible for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 directly from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (rather than the Revenue scheme);

Revenue and Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection will provide details to employers on how to apply.

Other additional supports for businesses announced include:

  • Deferral of Business Rates: the Government has agreed with local authorities that they should defer rates payments due from the most immediately affected businesses, primarily in the retail, hospitality, leisure and childcare sectors, until the end of May.
  • Taxation Measures to alleviate short-term difficulties: Revenue has also posted specific advice for businesses experiencing trading difficulties as a result of Covid-19 including information on tax returns, the application of late payment interest, debt enforcement, tax clearance and customs.

Business Response Planning Supports include:

  • Lean Business Continuity Voucher - is available to eligible companies to access up to €2,500 in training or advisory services support related to the continued operation of their businesses during the current pandemic.  The services may be in the form of management advice OR training of management or staff within the company or a combination of both.  Companies can avail of support from a list of approved service providers. It is expected that this support would be delivered online in most cases.  The service provided should focus on the Operations of the company in terms of;

    • Crisis response where appropriate,
    • Sustaining Operations including process re-engineering (Lean, etc),
    • Planning for resilience post crisis.

    The Lean Business Continuity Voucher is open to small, medium or large client companies of Enterprise Ireland or Údarás na Gaeltachta (including High Potential Start-ups). Find out more here, contact your agency advisor or email the Lean & Operational Excellence team in Enterprise Ireland at  businesscontinuityvoucher@enterprise-ireland.com
    The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) has published a guidance document for businesses outlining preventative measures that can safeguard against the spread of coronavirus and mitigate the risk to business operations in the event of infection.
    Enterprise Ireland has developed a webinar to support clients to implement the guidelines. The Enterprise Ireland webinar is designed to be a practical tool that will help businesses understand and apply the NSAI Guidelines to the workplace. Click Here to access

  • Rapid Response Research and Innovation programme to help mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic has been developed by the Government’s Research & innovation agencies including Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, IDA, the Health Research Board and the Irish Research Council.
  • €200m Package for Enterprise Supports including a Rescue and Restructuring Scheme - available through Enterprise Ireland for viable but vulnerable firms that need to restructure or transform their businesses, details of these supports are being finalised.
  • €200m Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) Working Capital Schemefor eligible businesses impacted by Covid-19,
  • Short Time Work Supportis available from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and is an income support payment for employees who have been temporarily placed on a shorter working week and is intended to help employers during periods of temporary difficulty. 
  • Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment - from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will be available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost employment due to a downturn in economic activity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. 
  • Strategic Consultancy Grant - for SME’s to assist the company development of a strategic response plan
  • Act On Initiative - providing access to 2 days consultancy engagement at no extra cost to access Financial Management, strategic sourcing and transport and logistics advice
  • Key Manager Support - to provide partial funding towards the recruiting of a Full or Part time Manager with critical skills for future growth
  • Agile Innovation Fund and Operational Excellence Offer
  • Be Prepared Grant - designed for Enterprise Ireland clients who would benefit from further research and external expertise in examining their exposure to Covid-19 and exploring ways of addressing this. 
  • The Business Process Improvement Grant - used to support short to medium term company projects that improve efficiencies and business process improvements. Specific E-marketing support is available through this grant to develop and enhance your company's capability to use the internet as an effective channel for business development. Further information can be found here or by contacting ebusiness@enterprise-ireland.com 
  • Business Continuity Voucher - 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. Find out more here.
  • Additional financial supports are available locally through the 31 Local Enterprise Offices and Microfinance Ireland. The maximum loan available from Microfinance Ireland will be increased from €25,000 to €50,000 as an immediate measure to specifically deal with exceptional circumstances that micro-enterprises are facing.
  • The Credit Guarantee Scheme is a government supported product from the banks for small and medium businesses who have difficulty borrowing from their bank. Businesses can apply for loans of up to €1 million at AIB, Bank of Ireland or Ulster Bank. Loans can be for terms of up to 7 years. The scheme provides an 80% guarantee to participating banks which are AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank. 
  • The SBCI Covid-19 Working Capital Loan Scheme is offered in partnership with the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine and is supported by the InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments. Loans can be provided for future working capital requirements or to fund innovation, change or adaptation of the business to mitigate the impact of Covid-19. Find out more here
  • Enterprise Ireland Market Research Centre offers client companies access to market intelligence in the form of company, sector, market and country information.
    The Market Research Centre can also offer assistance in scoping out information needs and highlighting resources and many resources can be sent to clients under legal agreements with providers.
    You can access the resources available at the Market Research Centre here and identify report titles online here
    Clients are invited to contact the Enterprise Ireland Market Research Centre via the dedicated MRC email: market.research@enterprise-ireland.com
  • EI Virtual Mentoring Support: Enterprise Ireland’s Mentor Network has a panel of more than 400 highly experienced business people. These are entrepreneurs, founders and senior executives with international commercial business development experience. They can offer practical advice, guidance and support at this time.
    For further information email Mentor.Network@Enterprise-Ireland.com or find our more here
  • eiLearn Online Learning Platform - Enterprise Ireland have designed this online learning platform, eiLearn, to help you overcome some of the key challenges facing you in growing a business and making it ready to tackle international markets and grow your business globally. eiLearn is an online learning resource where you can access over 400 pieces of customised content designed for Irish SMEs.  In the current environment of the Covid-19 crisis, there is new content added daily across the business pillar.  Find out more here.

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