Enterprise Ireland welcomes new Covid-19 business supports and opens EU-approved €180 million scheme

8th April 2020

New EI Funds

New Covid-19 “Sustaining Enterprise Fund” administered by Enterprise Ireland provides up to €800k in liquidity support for companies affected by Coronavirus

Enterprise Ireland has welcomed new Covid-19 supports for businesses announced by the Government today. The agency will operate and administer a number of these new funding supports, including a new €180 million scheme for businesses impacted by Covid-19.

The new Sustaining Enterprise Fund was recently approved by the European Commission in line with EU State aid rules, to provide financial support to Irish companies affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. The scheme which was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, is available to assist companies in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors who have suffered, or expect to suffer, a 15% or more reduction in turnover or profits or an increase in costs as a direct result of Covid-19.

Funding of up to €800,000 will allow eligible businesses to access the necessary liquidity and funding to sustain their businesses in the short to medium term and contribute to the recovery of the Irish economy. The Sustaining Enterprise Fund will be available to companies who are unable to access adequate funding from the market, financial institutions or the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI).

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said: “I greatly welcome today’s announcement by the government on the introduction of a range of new funding instruments to help Irish businesses respond to the economic challenges Covid-19 presents.

“Enterprise Ireland client companies have already seen a significant impact on their businesses from Covid-19. While their immediate focus has been on dealing with the welfare of their employees, they are also being impacted by a collapse in demand in certain sectors, supply chain disruption and cashflow challenges.

“I am pleased to say that the new Sustaining Enterprise Fund, which provides up to €800,000 in repayable funding is now open for businesses who are unable to raise adequate funding from the market.

“My strong advice to companies is, if you haven’t already done so, to prepare an assessment of your financial requirements and progress funding applications to the banks and the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) immediately. Enterprise Ireland’s new Business Financial Planning grant will help companies to prepare a Business Sustainment Plan.”

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD also announced three new supports available from Enterprise Ireland:

  • The new €2 million Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme will be open to retailers employing over 10 people to develop a more competitive online offer. Successful applicants will receive funding support of up to 80% of project costs, with a maximum grant of €40,000
  • A new Business Financial Planning Grant to the value of €5,000 to assist companies to develop a Business Sustainment Plan and to engage the services of an approved Financial Consultant when applying for funding
  • A new €2,500 LEAN Business Continuity Voucher to help companies quickly access expertise in reviewing and optimising operations at a time of crisis to identify the key measures needed to ensure continued operations.

Julie Sinnamon continued, “Ensuring continued operations during this time is challenging for companies and our new LEAN Business Continuity Voucher will help companies access external expertise to put in place crisis management support and training to ensure that processes can be established to ensure business continuity.

“Similarly, the Covid-19 pandemic has put exceptional pressure on the retail sector in Ireland and the Online Retail Scheme funding announced today will help support retailers who have found they will have to rapidly adapt their approach to enable online ordering and delivery to meet the new reality of home working and physical distancing restrictions.”

For further information, please download Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Sustain your business with our support’ brochure

-Ends-

Notes to Editor:

The full range of Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Office (LEO) and Údarás na Gaeltachta grant and advisory supports continue to be available to eligible firms to help with strategies to access finance, commence or ramp-up online trading activity, reconfigure business models, cut costs, innovate, diversify markets and supply chains and to improve competitiveness.

This new €180m Sustaining Enterprise Fund is open to eligible companies that:

  • Employ 10 or more full time employees
  • Are operating in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors
  • For SMEs - have applied for funding from a financial institution, including, where appropriate, through the SBCI COVID-19 Working Capital Loan/Future Growth Loan Schemes
  • For large companies – have applied for funding with an appropriate financial institution.

Businesses qualifying under this EU supported scheme will be offered repayable funding of up to €800,000.

The Sustaining Enterprise Fund will be used to support the implementation of a Business Sustainment Plan which must be provided by the company outlining the eventual stabilisation of the business and a return to viability.

The funding is open to all Enterprise Ireland, IDA and Údarás na Gaeltachta clients and other companies employing 10 or more in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sector.

The first port of call for liquidity support will continue to be SBCI/banks. This new Sustaining Enterprise Fund will be a distinct offer of funding support via a repayable advance which would only be provided where SBCI/bank options have been fully exhausted.

The €5,000 Covid-19 Business Financial Planning Grant will help companies to develop the Business Sustainment Plan.

The grant will support companies with 100% funding to engage the services of an approved Financial Consultant to develop this plan for use when applying for bank or investor funding and when developing their own medium-term financial strategy. Enterprise Ireland will work with these companies on a one-to-one basis to support the implementation of the plan.

The €2,500 Lean Business Continuity Voucher is a training project of up to three days carried out by an approved external advisor/trainer directly with an eligible company. It is expected that the three days will be spread over a longer period so that there is time for the company to implement changes between sessions.

It is expected that this support would be delivered online in most cases.
The project should focus on the operations of the company in terms of;

  • Crisis response where appropriate
  • Sustaining Operations including process re-engineering
  • Planning for resilience post crisis.

The €2 million Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme is a grant for retail companies with greater than 10 employees to develop a more competitive online offer. This competitive call has a budget of €2 million. Successful applicants will receive funding support of up to 80% of project costs, with a maximum grant of €40,000.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) has proposed this Scheme in response to the Covid-19 crisis and the urgent need for retail companies to achieve a step change in online capability. The Covid-19 pandemic has put exceptional pressure on the retail sector in Ireland and an increasing number of retailers are rapidly adapting their approach to enable online ordering and delivery which meet the new reality of home working and physical distancing restrictions. Supporting the Irish retail sector to embed a more sophisticated online trading strategy in its business model can contribute to the continued viability of a cohort of retail companies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and help position them for recovery in future once the public health emergency and related restrictions on the retail sector have eased.


For more information, go to www.enterprise-ireland.com/businessresponse

Conor O'Donovan

Head of Communications

Enterprise Ireland

+353 87 967 1342

Conor O'Donovan

Nicola Corboy

Press and Media Relations

Enterprise Ireland

+353 86 021 0114

Nicola Corboy