2,000 micro-businesses eligible for funding under Covid-19 scheme

A scheme aimed at helping small businesses most acutely impacted by Covid-19 restrictions has been announced by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar.

The Micro-Enterprise Assistance Fund will help businesses with fewer than 10 employees, which are ineligible for existing grants, with a grant of up to €1,000 to help them adapt and invest to rebuild their business.

About 2,000 businesses nationwide will benefit, according to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

Speaking from K Leisure in Naas, Co. Kildare, earlier today, Monday (September 14), the Tánaiste said:

“The past few months have been extremely difficult for businesses across the country and especially for the people of Kildare who have had to endure further restrictions.

“Those actions were necessary at the time. They helped turn the tide against the spread of the virus. I know they also came with an economic impact and that businesses have been under serious pressure over the past few weeks.

Kildare is fully open for business, in line with public health guidelines. Today we’re announcing a fund which will help businesses, not eligible under our other schemes, with the costs of re-opening.

“While many businesses have benefitted from the Restart Grant Plus and other government schemes, this is for small businesses with up to 10 staff that have not been eligible to any scheme to date. It is recognition of the difficulties in adapting to Covid-19 that they have had.

“Now is the time to shop local and I encourage everyone to think of their local business owner when doing their weekly shop or looking to buy something.”

As part of the July Stimulus, funding is also being increased to local enterprise offices to extend existing programmes, such as the ‘Lean for Micro’ programme to all businesses employing less than 10.

This scheme is designed to encourage Local Enterprise Office clients to adopt Lean business principles in their businesses to increase performance and competitiveness.

Interested businesses can apply directly to their Local Enterprise Office.

Applications from Kildare, Laois and Offaly are already prioritised for funding under all existing schemes, the department says.