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Government announces package for businesses in Kildare, Laois and Offaly

  • Topped up Restart Grant Plus

  • Affected counties will be prioritised for existing grants, loans and vouchers

  • Funding to promote counties

The Government has today announced a package of measures for businesses in Kildare, Laois and Offaly, which have been adversely impacted by renewed Covid 19 restrictions. The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath TD and the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Catherine Martin TD brought forward the package, which received Government approval this afternoon. The measures include:

Topped up Restart Grant

Eligible businesses will now be entitled to a 20% top-up, bringing the new minimum for affected counties to €4,800 and the new maximum to €30,000. Those that applied and received a grant previously, can re-apply and receive a second grant, with 20% additional on the new rate.

Prioritised Applications

€1m is being ring-fenced for the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in the three counties to increase engagement with local businesses to ensure they are aware of the loans, grants and vouchers they are entitled to. Applications from affected counties will be prioritised for all existing schemes, including the Sustaining Enterprise Fund.

Promotional Campaign

Fáilte Ireland is being allocated €1m to undertake a promotional campaign focused on increasing the appeal of these counties to visitors and drive bookings.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD said:

“Today’s announcement is about providing a little bit more help to businesses in Kildare, Laois and Offaly as they manage the next couple of weeks.  I know the restrictions have come as a blow just as they were getting back on their feet and we need to help out.

“The topped-up Restart Grant Plus will provide some much needed cash to help with the costs associated with re-opening and staying open safely and by prioritising applications from the three counties for existing grants, loans and vouchers, we are ensuring they are top of the queue for what is already available. Once restrictions are eased, we want people to come visit the counties so we are also putting money aside for a promotional campaign. These measures, in addition to what is already available, will hopefully provide some practical assistance to manage what is an extremely difficult situation.”

Minister Michael McGrath TD added:

“The measures announced today represent a genuine effort by Government to address the negative consequences for businesses and the local economy in Kildare, Laois and Offaly, as a result of the restrictions imposed last Friday on public health grounds.

“The extra grant support for local businesses will be of help, alongside the additional resources being allocated to promote a range of enterprise schemes across the three counties. It’s hoped that the funding for a promotional campaign will drive footfall into these counties once the restrictions are lifted. Government will work with local businesses, Chambers of Commerce and other representative bodies to roll out the various supports in the period ahead.”

Minister Catherine Martin TD concluded:

“I am acutely aware of the difficulties being faced by the tourism and hospitality sectors in Kildare, Laois and Offaly following the regulations announced last week. I welcome the Government’s decision to allocate an additional €1m to Fáilte Ireland for a promotional campaign which will focus on increasing the appeal of the three counties to visitors and drive bookings.  Specifically, Fáilte Ireland will leverage the existing ‘Make a Break for It’ and ‘Keep Discovering’ campaigns. The approach will be a mix of county specific promotional activity and also grouping the three counties under their regional experience brand “Ireland’s Ancient East” to help bring to life what the counties have to offer.

“Tourism and Hospitality businesses in the three counties can also avail of the Fáilte Ireland business supports to guide them through these unprecedented times. These have been developed in consultation with industry experts to meet the immediate and urgent needs of tourism businesses and to help them re-open and recover.”

Notes to Editors:

More information on the business supports is available here: COVID-19 supports

There is an existing package in place to help businesses nationally re-open and stay open, through the July Stimulus. The government are:

  • Extending the wage subsidy scheme to the end of March 2021, supporting viable businesses and jobs, including new hires
  • Giving companies extra assistance to reopen and stay open through an enhanced Restart grant available to more firms
  • Providing more and cheaper loan finance through Microfinance Ireland and the Credit Guarantee Scheme
  • Providing funding to help businesses and get ready for Brexit
  • Exploiting opportunities in areas like Life Sciences and investing in decarbonisation and digitalisation
  • Putting in place a six month reduction in the VAT, going down from 23% to 21%
  • Providing more funding for the IDA to promote Ireland as a place for foreign direct investment

There will also be a six month commercial rates holiday for the vast majority of businesses.

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