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A summary of governmental tax and financial schemes for impacted businesses during COVID-19 

State-backed funding supports for COVID-19 impacted businesses

On July 23rd 2020, the Irish Government announced the July Jobs Stimulus package, worth approximately €7.4 billion, as part of the next phase of measures introduced by the State to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

This package builds upon the extensive enterprise and labour supports already in place in order to enable businesses trade through the current period, and for people to get back to work. Any updates announced in Budget 2021 have been incorporated below. The schemes announced in July include extensions to existing initiatives, some of which were announced in May 2020 (can be viewed here) and April 2020 (can be viewed here).

How can Deloitte Debt & Capital Advisory help you?

Deloitte Financial Advisory has a dedicated Debt & Capital Advisory (DCA) team which is available and ready to advise businesses affected by COVID-19 on the range of State-backed funding supports available, and to help those businesses access the required funding. DCA is a team of twenty experienced debt professionals that have significant experience in raising debt capital to support clients’ strategic objectives.

State-backed funding supports - Key Highlights

The SBCI Future Growth Loan includes the following:

  • €100,000 to €3m available for qualifying business
  • Loans of up to €500,000 are unsecured
  • Loan terms range from eight – ten years 
  • Initial maximum loan interest rate of 4.5% for loans <€250,000 and 3.5% for loans>= €250,000. Variable interest rates subject to change
  • Optional interest-only repayments available in certain circumstances

The loan can be used for long term investments in any of the following:

  • Machinery or equipment
  • R&D
  • Business expansion
  • Premises improvement
  • Process innovation
  • People and/or systems

Loans cannot be used for the finance of the following:

  • Loans to undertakings in difficulty
  • Real estate development
  • Pure financial transactions

Available to:

Any viable micro, small and medium sized businesses and small mid-caps with less than 500 employees; and have the following:

  • Turnover of €50m or less (or €43m of assets on the balance sheet);
  • Independence and autonomy (i.e. not part of a wider group);
  • Less than 25% of their capital held by public bodies; and
  • Established and operating in the Republic of Ireland


The COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme is a further development to the existing SBCI Credit Guarantee Scheme and will provide a €2bn credit guarantee scheme as follows: 

  • Loans under this scheme range from €10,000 to €1 million and are available to qualifying business to provide emergency liquidity
  • The scheme provides an 80% guarantee to participating banks on lending to SMEs until the end of 2020 for terms between three months and six years
  • The scheme is available to all SME sectors including primary producers
  • Interest rates will be agreed at or below current market rates
  • The scheme is available from AIB, BOI and Ulster Bank and it will be possible for other lenders to access the scheme.
  • The funds can be used by qualifying companies to refinance existing debt, which is precluded under the other supports available

Available to:

Any viable micro, small and medium sized business and small mid-caps with less than 500 employees; and which have the following:

  • Turnover of €50m or less (or €43m of assets on the balance sheet);
  • Independence and autonomy (i.e. not part of a wider group);
  • Less than 25% of their capital held by public bodies; and
  • Established and operating in the Republic of Ireland

     

The Government’s Restart Fund will include the following:

  • €550m fund to be made available for micro and small enterprises
  • The purpose of this fund is to provide grants to assist these businesses in reconnecting with the market, their employees and customers
  • Entities such as MNOs are not eligible and small Irish based subsidiaries with overseas parent companies are not eligible. Similarly large chains with a number of branches such as fast food outlets, supermarkets, group hotels, group pharmacies and group betting shops are not eligible. However, a franchisee which is financially independent and separate to the franchisor is eligible to apply.
  • It is intended that the Fund will provide grants through a system of rebates / waivers of commercial rates payments from 2019
  • Companies are expected to receive a total amount equivalent to no more than their 2019 rates bill with a cap per business of €25,000 and minimum of €4,000
  • Further payments may be available to firms that have received support in the past. The pool of eligible businesses will be widened to include previously excluded sectors such as B&Bs and charities. However, B&B's in non-rated premises will be eligible to apply for the minimum €4,000 grant from Fáilte Ireland

Available to:

Small and medium size enterprises that have the following:

  • 250 employees or less;
  • Turnover of less than €100,000 per employee; and
  • Reduced turnover by 25% as a result of Covid-19

 

The new COVID-19 Restrictions Support Scheme (“CRSS”) will offer a targeted, timely and temporary sector-specific support payment based on turnover of up to €5,000 per week to businesses forced to close or trade at significantly reduced levels as a result of restrictions imposed on them in response to COVID-19.

The CRSS will include the following:

  • Payments will be calculated on the basis of 10 per cent of the first €1 million in turnover and 5 per cent thereafter, based on average VAT exclusive turnover for 2019 up to a maximum weekly payment of €5,000
  • The scheme will operate on a self-assessment basis and qualification will require a business to demonstrate that their turnover has been severely impacted; that is it may not exceed 25 per cent of the turnover for the corresponding period in 2019
  • The scheme is effective until 31st March 2021 and is available through the Revenue Online Service

Available to:

  • Companies and self-employed individuals carrying on a trade or trading activities, either solely or in partnership, from a business premises located in a region subject to restrictions introduced in line with the Living with COVID-19 Plan which has resulted in the business having to close or trade at significantly reduced levels.

 

The Commercial Rates Waiver includes the following:

  • Commercial rate waiver available to qualifying businesses has been extended until the end of 2020
  • This waiver defers rate payments for businesses most affected by COVID-19 (hospitality, retail, leisure and childcare sectors)
  • This waiver is available for all businesses who have been forced to close due to public health requirements
  • The qualifying period is from the 27th March until the end of 2020
  • The Government will continue to actively engage with business owners and representative bodies impacted by COVID-19

Available to:

  • Any business that was forced to close due to public health requirements

 

 

The Microfinance Ireland COVID-19 Business Loan includes the following:

  • €5,000 to €25,000 available per qualifying business
  • The loan is to support small businesses who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19
  • Loan term loans range up to three years
  • First six months – 0% interest and no repayments. Reduced interest rate 4.5% APR for Local Enterprise Office application and 5.5% for Direct applications
  • Eligible businesses must have seen (or expect to see) a 15% or greater reduction in actual or projected turnover or profit, and are not in a position to raise finance from banks or other institutions
  • Loans have fixed repayments with no penalty for early repayment

Available to:

  • Any business (Sole Trader, Partnership or Limited Company) with less than ten full time employees;
  • Annual turnover of up to €2m; 
  • Balance Sheet with Net Assets not exceeding €2m; and 
  • Not in a position to avail of finance from Banks or other commercial lenders

 

The new Micro-Enterprise Assistance Fund will help businesses with fewer than 10 employees, with a grant of between €500 and €1,000, to help them adapt and invest to rebuild their business. This is aimed at businesses which are ineligible for existing grants.

A range of further supports and future facing investments were announced as part of the July Stimulus Package including the following:

  • Sustaining Enterprise Fund: Expansion of the €180m scheme to include grant support to viable businesses, in addition to equity and repay able loans. Specific detail of the grant element is awaited. See key features of the fund here
  • Online Retail Scheme: Additional funding is being made available through Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Office to support retailers develop and enhance their online trading capabilities
  • Adapting to Green Economy: €10m will be provided to support all businesses engaging in green research, development and innovation, capital investment, and capacity building, through the first phase of a new Green Enterprise Fund
  • SME Brexit Fund of €20m will be provided to SMEs involved in exporting and importing with the UK to acquire staff, software and IT systems to adapt to the new relationship with the UK from January 2021
  • Enterprise Ireland’s existing fund of €55m for investment in the Seed and Venture Capital Sector will be topped up by €10m
  • Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme replaced the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme from 1 September, and is expected to continue until 31 March 2021. Businesses that have seen a 30% reduction in turnover will receive a flat rate of €203 per week per employee for those employees who were paid between €203 and €1,462 gross per week or €151.50 per week for those employees that were paid between €151.50 and €202.99 gross per week. New and seasonal employees will be eligible for the scheme.
  • Trading Online Voucher Scheme: Financial assistance of up to €2,500 with co-funding of 10% from the business is available to help small businesses with up to 10 employees and turnover of less than €2m to trade more online, boost their sales and access new markets. Businesses that have already received a Trading Online Voucher can now apply for a second voucher, where upgrades are required.

For more information on the alternative schemes

Overview - May

Overview - April

 

COVID-19 Portal

To support your organisation in navigating the complex landscape of COVID-19 governmental assistance programs, Deloitte has developed a free digital portal that captures the latest tax, financial, business, and social measures enacted by country. These programs are critical in supporting businesses in both responding to and recovering from the economic impacts of the global pandemic. The speed with which COVID-19 government measures were announced has left some ambiguity on current position, mechanics, and eligibility.

The COVID-19 Government Response Portal helps you navigate the details across multiple geographies and gain clarity on how these measures can address your needs.


There is also information available via an interactive map or by country comparisons, the portal provides the following functionalities: COVID-19 tax & financial measures: Access a summary of governmental tax and financial COVID-19 measures. Here you can find tax relief and deferrals along with other financial measures and details of financial reporting extensions, postponements, and changes. COVID-19 business and social measures: Find out more about how you can find the latest actions taken to support businesses and mitigate the spread of the virus.
 

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