Enterprise Ireland has launched a new €180m scheme for businesses impacted by Covid-19 entitled the Sustaining Enterprise Fund.

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 Covid-19 outbreak.

The fund came as part of a package of $1bn in liquidity measures announced by the Irish Government, including 

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 15pc or more reduction in turnover or profits or an increase in costs as a direct result of 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”

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).

Business impact of Covid-19

“Enterprise Ireland client companies have already seen a significant impact on their businesses from Covid-19,” said Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon.

“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. These include:

  • The new €2m 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 80pc 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.

“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,” said Sinnamon.

“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.”

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 9 April, 2020

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