17 February 2021
By Tom Collins
New COVID Business Aid Scheme (CBAS) will provide welcome boost for struggling Cork businesses
Cork Senator Tim Lombard has welcoming the new nationwide €60 million COVID Business Aid Scheme (CBAS) which will provide be a support for struggling businesses. The funding for the COVID Business Aid Scheme (CBAS) was secured by the Tánaiste at cabinet this week and Cork County Council will be responsible for administering the scheme.
Senator Lombard said: “The scheme will support rateable businesses that were not eligible for the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) payment nor the recently announced Fáilte Ireland scheme, ‘Survive to Thrive’.
“It will be a €60m fund offering a payment of €8,000 for eligible businesses, in two instalments of €4,000 for January-March and April-June.
“Wholesalers, suppliers, caterers & events companies down 75% or more in turnover – and which have a rateable premises – will benefit.
“Not everyone will be eligible, but it will provide a boost to 7,500 small and medium sized businesses who were not eligible for CRSS or the Fáilte Ireland scheme.
“Business should be able to apply by the end of February through Cork County Council. The Scheme will be back-dated to the start of this year, to ensure businesses are able to get help in covering the fixed costs they have incurred since then.
“This new scheme is in addition to the wide range of existing Government schemes such as wage subsidies, the PUP, and commercial rates waivers.
“We hoped that businesses would no longer need such levels of support into 2021; unfortunately, the pandemic continues to have devastating consequences and the Government remains committed to helping businesses for as long as they need it.”
The Covid-19 Business Aid Scheme is intended to target those business that do not qualify for CRSS and as such the eligibility criteria between the two schemes should be similar. The main difference will be the requirement for the public to have access to a business premises. The Scheme also needs to align with the new Fáilte Ireland Business Continuity grant assistance. The proposed eligibility criteria for the Covid-19 Business Aid Scheme are:
- the scheme will be available to companies, self-employed, sole traders or partnerships;
- minimum turnover of €50,000;
- Are not owned and operated by a public body;
- the business is not eligible for CRSS or Fáilte Ireland Business Continuity Scheme;
- they are in receipt of a rates bill from their local authority for business which operates from a building, or similar fixed physical structure on which business rates are payable (mobile premises, or premises which are not permanently fixed in place, do not meet the definition of business premises nor do premises on which no rates are payable);
- the business must have a current eTax Clearance Certificate from the Revenue Commissioners;
- the turnover of the business over the claim period is estimated to be no more than 25% of the: average weekly turnover of the business in 2019; or the projected average weekly turnover of the business for 1st January to 30th June 2021 for businesses that commenced after 1st November 2019; and
- the business intends to resume trading in full once Government restrictions are eased.