Ring of Cork

Accessing Government Funding and Supports during Covid-19

As this is a stressful time for businesses it’s important to know what support and funding are available for businesses within the Ring of Cork and elsewhere in Ireland during the Covid-19 outbreak. Failte Ireland has prepared some guidelines.

Last updated March 25th 2020. Original document provided by Fáilte Ireland

Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

The scheme will run for 12 weeks from 26 March 2020.

The Scheme is confined to employees who were on the employer’s payroll as at 29 February 2020, and for whom a payroll submission has already been made to Revenue in the period from 1 February 2020 to 15 March 2020.

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Employers to pay their employees during the current pandemic. Employers will be refunded up to 70 percent of an employee’s wages – up to a level of €410.

The employer is expected to make their best efforts to maintain as close to 100% of normal income as possible for the subsidised period.

Revenue will contact them directly to confirm that they meet the conditions for this new scheme

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Scheme overview and links to application

Government Covid-19 Wage Subsidy

Covid-19 Information and advice for Employers

Revenue Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

This payment replaces the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s Employer Refund Scheme announced on 15th March, and any business that received refunds under the current scheme do not need to reapply.

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Unemployment Payment has been introduced for anyone aged between 18 and 66 whose employer is unable to continue to pay them.

The payment is available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost employment due to the pandemic.

Non-EU/EEA individuals can avail of the payment.

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As of March 24, payments have been increased to are €350 per week for up to 6 weeks (as applicable).

Applicants should download and complete form and send to the address provided. They should not attend the Intreo office in person.

Individuals applying for the payment will be required to apply for the normal jobseeker’s payments within a 6-week period using
mywelfare.ie.

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Scheme overview and links to application

The scheme details and application details can be found on the Gov.ie website
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DEASP Income Support Helpline

This helpline provides information on available income supports for people impacted by COVID-19. The information team can advise on the most suitable income supports for individual circumstances and provide information on how to make an application.

Contact details:

  • 01 248 1398
  • 1890 800024
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DEBI Business Support Helpline

DBEI is also operating a Business Support Call Centre to advise on the Government supports available to businesses and enterprises that are affected by COVID-19.

Contact details: 01 631 2002

If you have already applied before the 24th of March or are already in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment you do not need to do anything. Your next payment will be paid at the increased rate.

Self-Employed will be eligible for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 directly from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (rather than the Revenue scheme)

Short Term Work Support

Firms that need to reduce hours or days worked can avail of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Short Term Work Support.

It is intended to help employers during periods of temporary difficulty without resorting to permanent layoffs.

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This is a form of Jobseeker’s Benefit and is an income support payment for employees aged under 66 who have been temporarily placed on a shorter working week. The payment is made in respect of their regular salary for the days that they are no longer working however they must work 3 or less days per week.

Employees must be full time and meet PRSI payment criteria to apply.

Allowance which is means tested.

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How to access Support

Individuals should apply for state supports immediately. This scheme will apply to full time employees whose hours are reduced but for those on shorter term contracts the Citizen Information offices provide detailed information on benefits eligibility for employees Citizens Information website
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Scheme overview and links to application

The scheme details and application details can be found on the Gov.ie Short Time Work Support Website

The most current DEASP advice and information for both employers
and employees can be found on:
Gov.ie Coronavirus Information for Employers and Employees Website

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DEASP Income Support Helpline

Advice on the most suitable income supports for individual circumstances and information on how to make an application.

Contact details: 01 248 1398 or 1890
800 024

Illness Benefit for COVID-19 Illness

As of March 24, 2020, the benefit will be €350 per week and employers can top up this payment.

Reforms for sick pay, illness benefit, and supplementary benefit have been put in place and is designed to ensure that employees and the self-employed can abide by medical advice to self-isolate where appropriate.

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To receive the enhanced payment, employees must be absent from work and not be getting paid by their employer and be either:

  • Self-isolating on the instruction of a doctor or other medical professional – payment lasts 2 weeks
  • Diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – payment is paid for the duration of illness
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How to access Support

Individuals apply for this themselves and steps are explained on the link above.
As the situation continues to evolve the most current advice and information can be found on the Gov.ie Coronavirus Employers and Employee Test Website
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Scheme overview and links to application

To apply for illness benefit apply on the Gov.ie website
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DEASP Income Support Helpline

This helpline provides information on available income supports for people impacted by COVID-19. The information team can advise on the most suitable income supports for individual circumstances and provide information on how to make an application.

Contact details:

  • 01 248 1398
  • 1890 800024

SBCI Covid-19 Working Capital Loan Scheme

A €200m Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) Working Capital scheme for eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Loans of up to €1.5m will be available at reduced rates (the maximum interest rate will be 4%), with up to the first €500,000 unsecured.

Maximum interest rate of 4% Loan terms ranges from 1 year to 3 years.

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Scheme opened March 23, 2020 and loans will be available through AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank.

Eligibility Criteria
Turnover/profitability being negatively impacted by a minimum of 15% due to COVID-19.

Option 1 or 2 in Innovation criteria are most relevant criteria for tourism businesses.

Optional interest-only repayments may be available at the start of the loans.

Revenue will contact them directly to confirm that they meet the conditions for this new scheme

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How to access Support

The first step in the process will be to complete an SBCI online application and receive eligibility letter. Once the eligibility letter is received, the business can then approach their preferred bank to begin the loan process.

Approval of loans are subject to the banks own credit policies and procedures and the loan amount and term is dependent on the loan purpose.

Please note that an up to date business plan will be required to be provided to the finance provider(s) in all cases when applying for a loan.

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Scheme overview and links to application

Full details of the Covid-19 Working Capital Loan Scheme are
available here

The SBCI website will be updated on a regular basis regarding the scheme, please check for the latest updates.

Further updates will be also provided through social media:

DEBI Credit Guarantee Scheme

This will be available to COVID-19 impacted firms through the Pillar Banks (AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank). Loan facilities of up to €1m will be available at terms of up to 7 years.

The Scheme aims to assist viable SMEs, which under normal lending criteria are unable to borrow from their bank, in accessing credit.

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The scheme operates by providing an 80% guarantee to participating finance providers (currently AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank) on qualifying loans to SMEs.

Minimum loan is €10,000. Loan facilities can be term loans, demand loans or performance bonds.

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How to access Support

There is no eligibility process on the Credit Guarantee Scheme.

Businesses should approach their banks about the scheme and then banks take it from there.

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Scheme overview and links to application

Visit the SBCI SME Guarantee Scheme for all the information.

MicroFinance Ireland Loans

The maximum loan available from MicroFinance Ireland has increased from €25,000 to €50,000. Interest rates of between 6.8% and 7.8% apply.

Eligible microenterprises (businesses with less than 10 employees and up to €2m annual turnover) that are currently trading.

Loans may be used for working capital and required business changes as a result of COVID-19.

Loan terms typically last up to 3 years and are interest and repayment free for the first 6 months.

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Eligibility criteria include:

  1. A minimum of 15% of actual or projected turnover or profit in the business is negatively impacted by COVID-19
  2. The business is a microenterprise
  3. The business is having difficulty in accessing finance from Banks and/or other commercial lending providers

Minimum loan amount is €5,000.

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How to access Support

Talk to a Business Advisor in your Local Enterprise Office. Register on website at microfinanceIreland.ie or talk to a loan advisor on 01 260 1007.

Documents Required to apply include: Application Form, COVID 19 Business Plan, Cashflow Forecast, 6 Months Bank Statements, Central Credit Register Report (CCR). Other information may be required based on loan amount.

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Scheme overview and links to application

For scheme details visit the DBEI Business Loans Gov.ie Website

More information is available on Micro Finance Ireland Loan Packages

Support through Pillar Banks

Meeting March 18. Following a meeting between representatives of the pillar banks, AIB, Bank of Ireland, KBC, Permanent tsb and Ulster Bank, the Banking and Payments Federation and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe five key measures have been introduced.

Banks are adopting a customer focussed approach with a wide variety of tailored supports including extensions of credit lines, risk guarantees, and trade finance. The supports complement the range of Government supports available through the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland.

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1. Payment break on loans up to three months for business affected by Covid-19, to be followed by ongoing reviews depending on the scale and extent of the situation.

2. Simplified application process to make it as easy as possible for businesses and personal customers impacted by Covid-19 to receive support from their banks.

3. Banks want to ensure that Covid-19 payment breaks will not adversely impact the customer’s credit record, and the banks reporting of these facilities.

4. Banks will defer court proceedings for three months.

5. The banking system stands ready to provide working capital support.

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Scheme overview and links to application

Businesses wishing to avail of a payment break should contact their respective bank.

This is in process. Further details to follow. Banks are meeting with the Central Bank of Ireland to urgently achieve a solution in this regard.

All businesses are being encouraged to engage with their bank to agree financing needs over the coming period and restructure as appropriate.

Fáilte Ireland Support Hub: Managing business in unprecedented times

In response to the COVID-19 crisis and the impact it is having on the tourism sector, we are targeting our business supports to respond to the most urgent challenges and threats tourism businesses are now facing.

All of these supports can be accessed here.

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