Covid-19 (Coronavirus) - Client Update - 24th March 2020

24th March 2020

Covid 19 Business Supports Update 24 March 2020

Further to my previous update to clients, and as part of our ongoing COVID-19 response, I wanted to update you on new supports announced by Government this afternoon.

In this unprecedented and evolving period for businesses, companies large and small are reporting that they are facing serious challenges, particularly in terms of cashflow and working capital, customer demand and capacity issues.

This is a global economic crisis with many jobs already lost and many more at risk over the coming weeks and months.

In light of this, I very much welcome the announcement of the National COVID-19 Income Support Scheme by the Government this afternoon to provide financial support to Irish workers and companies affected by the crisis.

In summary, the Government announced:

  • a temporary wage subsidy of up to 70% of take home pay up to a maximum weekly tax free amount of €410 per week (i.e. 70% of take home weekly income of €38,000 per annum) to help affected companies keep paying their employees. The employer is expected to make best efforts to maintain as close to 100% of normal income as possible for the subsidised period. Revenue will provide further guidance on operation of the scheme
  • 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
  • the 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).

Full details of the announcement today are available on the Government of Ireland’s website

Enterprise Ireland, along with colleagues across Government, are making every effort to support companies to weather the storm. All our existing financial, operational and advisory supports remain in place. I will keep you advised of any further developments in relation to the €200m package for enterprise supports recently announced by Minister Humphreys, once further detail becomes available.

Other supports announced by Government recently include a Credit Guarantee Scheme, Short Time Work Support, Revenue cashflow supports, Job seekers emergency payment and increased lending by Microfinance Ireland. Further information on these supports, and the Enterprise Ireland COVID-19 Business Response Plan which includes a step-by step risk assessment process is available on our website www.enterprise-ireland.com/businessresponse

My advice to all businesses continues to be to put contingency plans in place now, including an assessment of your contingency funding requirements, and to progress applications for the funding instruments available from your banks and through the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI). For clients who require financial planning assistance, a ‘Finance in Focus’ grant of up to €7,200 is available.

The SBCI Covid-19 Working Capital Scheme, announced by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation recently, is now live and I would encourage you to visit the SBCI website and the loan application criteria is available here

In these uncertain times, it is heartening to see a significant ramping up of activity by companies in certain sectors who are in a position to respond to heightened demand for their products, be it in IT services, telecoms, freight, transport and pharma and medical technology. We are also seeing Irish companies providing innovative solutions in response to the crisis.

Should you have further queries, you can contact your Development Advisor or our Client Response Team at  clientresponse@enterprise-ireland.com or visit our Covid-19 information hub www.enterprise-ireland.com/businessresponse

We will continue to monitor developments relating to COVID-19 and communicate with you in relation to supporting your business during this period.

Julie Sinnamon
CEO
Enterprise Ireland

ENDS