UPDATED: Business & financial support under Level 5 COVID restrictions

The Government has financial support in place for businesses forced to close due to COVID-19 restrictions and employees unable to work. 

COVID-19 Income Support Scheme 

The COVID-19 Income Support Scheme provides financial support to employees and businesses affected by the Coronavirus crisis. 

Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme - UPDATED 25th February 
The new Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) has replaced the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, and provides a flat-rate subsidy to qualifying employers based on the numbers of eligible employees on the employer's payroll. Operated by Revenue, the scheme has been extended until 30th June 2021.

EWSS rates from 1st February 2021 until 31st March 2021 are as follows:

  • Weekly earnings of under €151.50 = no subsidy
  • Weekly earnings of between €151.50 and €202.99 = €203 subsidy
  • Weekly earnings of between €203 and €299.99 = €250 subsidy
  • Weekly earnings of between €300 and €399.99 = €300 subsidy
  • Weekly earnings of between €400 and €1,462.00 = €350 subsidy
  • Weekly earnings of more than €1,462.00 = no subsidy

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment - updated 25th February
The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) is available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. PUP rates are as follows:

  • Pre-COVID-19 weekly earnings of €400 a week or above =  €350 a week PUP payment
  • Pre-COVID-19 weekly earnings of between €300 and €400 week or above =  €300 a week PUP payment
  • Pre-COVID-19 weekly earnings of between €200 and €300 =  €250 a week PUP payment
  • Pre-COVID-19 weekly earnings of below €200 =  €203 a week PUP payment

This scheme has been extended until 30th June 2021.

Short-time Work Support
If you are an employee and your hours have been reduced due to COVID-19, you may avail of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Short-time Work Support. Apply at https://www.gov.ie/en/service/c20e1b-short-time-work-support/

Loans and Grants

Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) 
The Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) aims to support businesses which have been significantly impacted by restrictions placed upon them by COVID-19 restrictions, including those in the beauty and hair sectors.

Operated by Revenue, CRSS is open to companies and the self-employed working from business premises within geographic locations where the COVID-19 restrictions at Level 3, 4 or 5 of the government's Plan for Living with COVID-19 are in place. The scheme will run until 31st March 2021.

Those qualifying will receive an Advance Credit for Trading Expenses cash payment, equal to 10% of their average weekly turnover in 2019 up to €20,000 and 5% thereafter, subject to a maximum weekly payment of €5,000, for each week that their business is affected by the COVID-19 restrictions.

New businesses established between 26th December 2019 and 12th October 2020 will be entitled to make a claim based on their actual weekly average turnover in the period between the date of commencement and 12th October 2020 (subject to the weekly cap of €5,000).

A business must demonstrate that, because of the COVID-19 restrictions, its turnover in the period for which the restrictions are in operation will be no more than 25% of an amount equal to the average weekly turnover of the business in 2019 (or average weekly turnover in 2020 in the case of a new business) multiplied by the number of weeks in the period for which a claim is made.

A double payment of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) to businesses significantly impacted by public health restrictions for the weeks of 28th December to 4th January, up to maximum of €5,000. Should restrictions last for more than three weeks, businesses in receipt of CRSS will be eligible for payment of an additional week's restart payment when they reopen at the end of the restriction period

Registration for the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) is open now on the Revenue Online Service (ROS).

COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme
The COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme offers loans from €10,000 to €1 million, for terms of up to five and a half years through a range of products, including term loans, working capital loans and overdrafts.

COVID-19 Business Loans
Available through Microfinance Ireland, COVID-19 Business Loans of up to €25,000 are available with no repayments or interest due for the first six months and the equivalent of an additional six month interest-free subject to terms and conditions. Loans range from €5,000 to €25,000. 

COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme
For eligible businesses, the SBCI COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme supports loans from €25,000 up to €1.5 million (first €500,000 unsecured) with a maximum interest rate of 4%. Apply through  SBCI website at www.sbci.gov.ie

Future Growth Loan Scheme
The enhanced Future Growth Loan Scheme makes up to €800m of loans available for terms of 7-10 years. This scheme is available to eligible businesses in Ireland, including those in the primary agriculture (farmers) and seafood sectors, to support strategic long-term investment.

Sustaining Enterprise Fund for Small Enterprise
Enterprise Ireland operates a specific Sustaining Enterprise Fund for Small Enterprise as part of the Sustaining Enterprise Fund, which provides a short term working capital injection of up to €50,000 to support business continuity.

Restart Grant Plus
The Restart Grant Plus provides grants from €4,000 to €25,000 to businesses with up to 250 employees to support the costs associated with reopening and reemploying staff following COVID-19 closures. Top up payments are available for businesses that accessed funding through the previous round of the scheme.
Enterprise Support Grant
Eligible self-employed people who closed their COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment on or after 18th May 2020 can apply for an Enterprise Support Grant. This is designed to provide business owners with a one-off grant of up to €1,000 to restart a business which was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Micro-Enterprise Assistance Fund
The new Micro-Enterprise Assistance Fund is for businesses with less than 10 employees and which are ineligible for existing grants. The fund pays a grant of up to €1,000 to help businesses adapt and invest to rebuild, administered through Local Enterprise Offices

Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme
Delivered by SOLAS, the Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme offers a payment of €3,000 payment for each new apprentice that apprenticeship employers who take on under the national apprenticeship programme. 

For more information: https://apprenticeship.ie

For full details of all financial assistance, grants, loans and schemes available to small businesses, visit the DBEI website.

Updated: 25.2.2021