There is a wide range of supports available to help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Have you applied for the Restart Grant?
The Restart Grant provides direct grant aid to micro and small businesses to help with the costs associated with reopening and reemploying workers following COVID-19 closures: Apply now through your local authority website
Financial supports, training and guidance to help your business mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and return to work safely:
The COVID-19 Income Support Scheme provides financial support to Irish workers and businesses affected by the crisis.
- COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme: The COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme, operated by Revenue, enables employees, whose employers are affected by the pandemic, to receive significant supports directly from their employer through the payroll system.
- Pandemic Unemployment Payment: The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MyWelfare.ie is the quickest and easiest way to apply for payments - all you need is your email address, PPSN and bank account details.
- On MyWelfare.ie all customers can
- apply for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
- apply for Enhanced Illness Benefit for COVID-19 including for self-isolation cases
- apply for a jobseeker’s payment
- request to close their Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
- Short-time Work Support: Employees of businesses that need to reduce hours or days worked can avail of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Short-time Work Support.
Loans, grants and schemes
- Credit Guarantee Scheme: The Credit Guarantee Scheme supports loans up to €1 million for periods of up to 7 years. Applications can be made to AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank. Eligibility criteria apply.
- COVID-19 Business Loans [lending through this scheme has currently been paused]: Microenterprises can access COVID-19 Business Loans of up to €50,000 from Microfinance Ireland. The terms include a six months interest free and repayment free moratorium, with the loan to then be repaid over the remaining 30 months of the 36-month loan period. Loans are available at an interest rate of between 4.5% and 5.5%. Businesses can apply through their Local Enterprise Office or directly at microfinanceireland.ie. Eligibility criteria apply.
- COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme: The €450m SBCI COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme for eligible businesses supports loans from €25,000 up to €1.5 million (first €500,000 unsecured) with a maximum interest rate of 4%. Applications can be made through the SBCI website at sbci.gov.ie. Eligibility criteria apply.
- Future Growth Loan Scheme: It has been agreed that an additional €500 million in COVID-19 funding will be made available through the Future Growth Loan Scheme to provide longer-term loans to COVID-19 impacted businesses.
- Sustaining Enterprise Fund: The Sustaining Enterprise Fund of up to €180 million is specifically aimed at firms operating in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors, with 10 or more employees, that are vulnerable but viable. The fund is operated by Enterprise Ireland, providing repayable advances of up to €800,000 as agreed with the EU under new State Aid rules.
- Sustaining Enterprise Fund for Small Enterprise: As part of the Sustaining Enterprise Fund, Enterprise Ireland operates a specific Sustaining Enterprise Fund for Small Enterprise. This fund provides a short term working capital injection of up to €50,000 to eligible smaller companies to support business continuity and strengthen their ability to return to growth.
- Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund: The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund will focus on investment in medium and large scale enterprises in Ireland through a Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund. The fund, worth up to €2 billion, will make capital available to medium and large enterprises on commercial terms.
- General grant supports: The full range of Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Local Enterprise Office and Údarás na Gaeltachta grant 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.
- Restart Grant: The €250m Restart Grant provides direct grant aid to micro and small businesses to help them with the costs associated with reopening and reemploying workers following COVID-19 closures. The grant is the equivalent to the rates bill of the business in 2019 or a minimum grant of €2,000, with a maximum grant of €10,000. The application form is available online from all local authority websites.
- Enterprise Support Grant: The Enterprise Support Grant for businesses impacted by COVID-19 will be available for self-employed people who are closing their COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment after 25 June.
- COVID Products Scheme: The COVID Products Scheme will allow for up to €200m in targeted State support to facilitate the research and development of COVID products, to enable the construction or upgrading of testing and upscaling infrastructures that contribute to the development COVID-19 relevant products, as well as to support the production of products needed to respond to the outbreak. The scheme will be delivered through IDA Ireland's COVID-19 supports and Enterprise Ireland's COVID-19 Business Response.
- Trading Online Voucher: The Local Enterprise Office Trading Online Voucher is a government grant scheme, designed to assist small businesses with up to 10 employees. It offers financial assistance of up to €2,500 along with training and advice to help your business trade online. Businesses that have already received a Trading Online Voucher can now apply for a second voucher, where upgrades are required.
- COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme: The COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme is a grant for retail companies with 10 or more employees to develop a more competitive online offer. Call 1 in April resulted in €6.5m in grants for the retail sector. A second call is due to issue soon.
- LEAN for Micro: LEAN for Micro is available to Local Enterprise Office clients to help build resilience within small companies. Businesses can avail of consultancy support with a LEAN Expert or help to implement new remote working and physical distancing guidelines. Contact your Local Enterprise Office for further details.
- COVID-19 Business Financial Planning Grant: The COVID-19 Business Financial Planning Grant, worth up to €5,000, is designed to help companies to develop a robust financial plan, including the preparation of documentation required to support applications for external finance from banks and/or other finance providers. The grant is a new support for Enterprise Ireland clients and those manufacturing or internationally traded services companies that employ 10 or more full time employees.
- Lean Business Improvement Voucher: The Lean Business Continuity Voucher is available to eligible companies to access up to €2,500 in training or advisory services support related to the continued operation of their businesses during the current pandemic. It is open to small, medium or large client companies of Enterprise Ireland or Údarás na Gaeltachta (including High Potential Start-ups). The voucher may be used to obtain services from approved providers.
- Cross-border companies: InterTradeIreland’s Emergency Business Solutions offers professional advice, to the value of €2,250, to address key business challenges related to COVID-19. The E-Merge programme provides €2,800 consultancy support to help cross-border businesses develop online sales and eCommerce solutions.
- COVID-19 Rapid Response Funding: The COVID-19 Rapid Response Funding Call (Phase 2) will fund projects up to 14 months in duration that build scientific knowledge and/or develop novel solutions that have the potential to impact society in the short/medium term in a number of thematic areas.
Rates waiver and warehousing of tax debts
- Commercial rates waiver: Commercial rates are being waived for a three month period from 27 March 2020 for businesses that have been forced to close due to public health requirements. The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government is preparing guidance on the scope and application of the waiver for local authorities. When finalised, updates will be available on housing.gov.ie and from local authorities.
- 'Warehousing' of deferred tax debts: The scheme, administered by Revenue, will ‘warehouse’ VAT and PAYE (Employer) debts associated with the COVID-19 crisis. Revenue's COVID-19 information and advice for taxpayers and agents provides information on Revenue services and tax and customs measures in place during the COVID-19 pandemic including information on tax returns and interest suspension arrangements.
Sector-specific supports and guidance
Skills and training supports
The government offers a range of initiatives for reskilling and upskilling to help businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. The skills supports include Enterprise Ireland's eiLearn online learning resource, LEOs training webinars, the Skillnet Ireland and Regional Skills Fora networks, the SOLAS Skills to Advance initiative and Springboard+ courses.
For details on the range of skills supports visit COVID-19: Skills and training supports for businesses.
Follow the roadmap for reopening business
The revised roadmap for reopening society and business sets out Ireland's plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions. The government has approved the move to Phase 3 in line with advice received from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET):
Return to Work Safely Protocol
The Return to Work Safely Protocol is designed to support employers and workers to put measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, when the economy begins to slowly open up, following the temporary closure of most businesses during the worst phase of the current pandemic.
Templates and checklists
The Health and Safety Authority's COVID-19 checklists and templates – based on the Return to Work Safely Protocol – have been prepared to help employers, business owners and managers to get their business up and running again and to inform workers about what they need to do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
The Data Protection – Return to Work Safely Protocol guidance document has been prepared to assist in providing clarification where the measures set out in the Return to Work Safely Protocol may result in the processing of personal data.
Posters and graphics
The Department of Health has issued a range of COVID-19 posters and graphics including new stay safe guidelines for work, home, public transport, outdoors and shopping.
Posters, leaflets and other resources for use in workplaces and communities are also available on the HSE website at COVID-19 posters and resources and the HSA website at hsa.ie/covid19.
Download our guide to business supports
The Supports for businesses impacted by COVID-19 booklet details the key supports and resources available to help businesses.
Contact our Business Support Call Centre
Contact the DBEI Business Support Call Centre for information on the government supports available to businesses and enterprises affected by COVID-19.
Tel: +353 1 631 2002
Occupational Health and Safety Helpline
For information on workplace health and safety please contact the Occupational Health and Safety Helpline.
Tel: 1890 289 389 or (01) 614 7000
COVID-19 related prevention and recovery measures in the workplace
For support in relation to improving your COVID-19 related prevention and recovery measures in the workplace, contact the NSAI COVID-19 helpline.
Tel: +353 1 807 3800
For more information, advice and guidelines from across government visit gov.ie/covid19.