Friday, July 03, 2020

Fake money

Grants ranging from €2,000 to €10,000 are available to Mayo businesses that have been adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mayo County Council says local businesses have so far been slow to apply to its Restart Grant Scheme which has been introduced to provide funding assistance to businesses reopening after the Covid-19 lockdown.

Financial support of between €2,000 and €10,000 is available for micro and small businesses to help them with the costs associated with reopening and re-employing workers following Covid-19 closures, after the government set aside €250 million nationally for the purpose.

However, Tom Gilligan, the local authority’s director of services for the Ballina Municipal District, has told local councillors that there is concern about the level of uptake on the scheme to date and encouraged local businesses to apply.

He made his comments in response to a query from councillor Annie May Reape as to whether businesses will get a rebate on rates in light of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Mr Gilligan said that while there have been discussions around a three-month rates waiver for businesses no final decision has been made.

“We recognise that this is a very difficult time for businesses and we are conscious of the impact of Covid but we do not have any clarity on the three-month waiver so we cannot say if anything can be written off just yet,” he said. He also said that the matter may be decided by the new government.

The Restart Fund is available to businesses that were closed by Covid-19 restrictions or impacted by at least a 25% reduction in turnover out to June 30, 2020.

The fund is based on 2019 commercial rates demand and applies to small businesses with a turnover of under €5 million and that employ 50 people or less.

Applications will be accepted up to August 31.

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