Under the Government Covid Support Scheme for the events sector businesses, up to €50,000 will be available for SMEs involved in concerts, sport, cultural events, conferences or trade shows.

A new €11.5m support scheme to help companies working in the events sector with their fixed costs has been launched.

The €11.5 million Events Sector Covid Support Scheme (ESCSS) is targeted at SMEs in that sector which have been affected significantly by the Covid-19 public health restrictions.

“The events industry was one of the first sectors to close and unfortunately will be one of the last to reopen. It provides work for tens of thousands of people and is the lifeblood for many services and suppliers in villages, towns and cities throughout the country”

A grant of up to €50,000 is available to successful applicants as a contribution to their fixed costs.

Bringing back gatherings

“The events sector has been particularly badly hit by the pandemic,” Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, TD, said. “Unfortunately this virus is one which loves gatherings of people, whether that’s by doing the things we all love and miss – gigs, matches, cultural events, or gathering for business reasons such as conferences or trade shows.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have tried to help businesses with their fixed costs, though the various grants, wage subsidies and low-cost loans that are in place. This Scheme is specifically for companies working in the events sector. So those businesses working to host the events themselves and also those providing the services required to put on live performance shows, trade shows, and festivals including event promotion and management companies, security, supply of sound, lighting and stage equipment companies.  It will provide a grant of up to €50,000 to help with fixed costs.

“Our vaccination programme is picking up and all adults are now able to register. There are brighter days ahead. Government will continue to help all businesses as they get back on their feet.”

The scheme will be run by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and is being funded via a €11.5m transfer from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

This scheme is in addition to the comprehensive package the Government has put in place to help businesses and workers during the pandemic, including the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), the Music and Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme (MEBAS), the Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID (SBASC), low-cost loans, the deferral and warehousing of tax liabilities and the waiver of commercial rates.

To be eligible for this scheme the business must have been ineligible for support under the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) operated by Revenue.

Guidelines for the scheme can be found here and queries on the scheme can be emailed to ESCSS@tcagsm.gov.ie

“The events industry was one of the first sectors to close and unfortunately will be one of the last to reopen. It provides work for tens of thousands of people and is the lifeblood for many services and suppliers in villages, towns and cities throughout the country,” said Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, TD.

Martin said the scheme will open for applications on 4 August through her Department’s website.

“This scheme aims to support businesses supplying services to the events and arts sectors. This is targeted at businesses and suppliers including those who support festivals, concerts, conferencing and live entertainment.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 16 July 2021

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