11 August 2020
By Tom Collins
Cork County Council is now accepting applications from local businesses for the ‘Restart Grant Plus’. This scheme builds upon the previous Restart Grant Scheme by increasing the minimum grant from €2,000 to €4,000 and increasing the maximum from €10,000 to €25,000.
Eligibility has also expanded, with applications open to companies employing up to 250 eligible compared to less than 50 in the previous scheme, non-rateable B&B’s, Sports clubs with commercial activities and trading charity shops are also now eligible. Businesses that availed of the previous Restart Grant from Cork County Council do not need to reapply and will be contacted over the coming days.
The Restart Grant Plus was announced by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar T.D. as part of the government’s July Stimulus package, a €7.4bn package of measures designed to stimulate a jobs-led recovery and build economic confidence while continuing to manage the impact of Covid-19. This announcement sees €300m additional funding on top of the €250m previously committed to the Restart Grant Scheme.
Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley said
“Small and medium businesses are an integral part of life in County Cork and I’m delighted to see these additional supports being made available. There are so many businesses throughout our towns and villages that shape our local identity and character, and provide fantastic services to residents and visitors alike. I encourage all businesses in Cork to look into this grant scheme, so that we can continue to lead way in our social and economic recovery.”
Deputy Chief Executive of Cork County Council James Fogarty added
“Cork County Council welcomes this new and improved suite of supports for businesses, which will increase employment and support businesses in adapting to the current situation. By providing jobs and accessible local options for goods and services in Cork County, the Restart Grant Plus will have a resounding impact on our local economy and play a vital role in the Council’s Project ACT initiative to Activate County Towns.”
Applications for the Restart Grant can be made online at www.YourCouncil.ie. Cork County Council has also established a dedicated helpline on (021) 4208000 and email at RestartFund@CorkCoCo.ie
Non-rated B&B’s will apply to Fáilte Ireland, who will administer the funding over the coming weeks.
To qualify for a grant, the important criteria are:
- A business must be commercial and in the local authority rates system (apart from non-rated B&Bs who can apply to Fáilte Ireland);
- It must have suffered a 25% loss of expected turnover between 1 April and 30 June 2020;
- It must have less than 250 employees and turnover less than €25m;
- It must declare its intention to re-employ staff in receipt of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme
Further details about the Restart Grant
- The grant will be based on the amount of the rates assessment for the premises for 2019 (excluding arrears) with a new minimum grant of €4,000 and a maximum grant of €25,000 (Increased from €2,000 min and €10,000 max).
- Eligible firms now include medium-sized firms and independent hotels with up to 250 employees, as well as small firms (increased from 50 employees).
- Businesses impacted by a 25% reduction in turnover will be eligible provided they commit to reopening and to hiring and sustaining employment.
- A turnover of up to €25m is now allowable, increased from €5m. There is a cap of €100,000 turnover per employee.
- Commercial sports businesses and trading charity shops in rated premises can now apply for the grant.
- The hospitality sector, restaurants, pubs, activity centres and tourist attractions, e.g., galleries, museums are eligible if they are operating from a rated premise.
- B&Bs in non-rated premises will be eligible to apply for the minimum €4,000 grant from Fáilte Ireland.
- A franchisee which is a financially independent company and is completely separate to the franchisor is eligible to apply.
- Small company chains can apply if they meet the criteria of <250 employees and €25m turnover in totality across the company and all the branches.
- Multinationals are not eligible. Small Irish based subsidiaries with overseas parent companies are not eligible.
- Large chains that are part of a large group company, i.e. one legal entity with a number of branches, such as fast food, group and multiple supermarkets, group hotels, group betting shops and group pharmacies are not eligible.