The Irish Government has released additional measures to assist businesses impacted by the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. The Cabinet has agreed on a €6 billion support package for small, medium, and large businesses, as well as farmers. Among the measures being taken is a three-month freeze on commercial rates for businesses impacted by the pandemic, and the introduction of a low-interest loan to aid the re-opening of businesses that were forced to cease trading.
The measures are:
- A restart grant of €10,000 for micro and small businesses based on a rates/waiver rebate from 2019;
- A three-month commercial rates waiver for impacted businesses;
- A Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund of €2 billion within the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF). This will make capital available to medium and large enterprises on commercial terms;
- A COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme of €2 billion to support lending to SMEs for terms ranging from three months to six years. This will be below-market interest rates;
- The ‘warehousing’ of tax liabilities for a period of 12 months after recommencement of trading. During this period there will be no debt enforcement action taken by Revenue and no interest charge accruing in respect of the warehoused debt;
- A commitment to local authorities to make up the rates shortfall.
Payment Breaks for Businesses
The Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland has announced an extension of 6 months of payment breaks for businesses and households impacted by COVID-19. To avail of these extensions, it is essential that customers fully engage with their lender.
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