Government reveals financial support for businesses hit by coronavirus

11 Mar 2020

Image: © Witthaya/

The Government has announced details of a support package for businesses affected by the coronavirus, including loans of up to €1.5m.

With growing fears of a global recession in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD, has announced details of a support package for Irish businesses.

This includes a €200m Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland working capital scheme for businesses deemed to be significantly impacted. Loans of up to €1.5m will be made available at reduced rates, with the first €500,000 unsecured.

Future Human

Another €200m package will be made available including a rescue and restructuring scheme through Enterprise Ireland for vulnerable, but viable, firms that need to restructure or transform their business.

Also, a credit guarantee scheme is being made available to firms impacted by the coronavirus through major banks, with loans of up to €1m being made available at terms of up to seven years.

Sole traders and small companies

Sole traders and companies with up to nine employees in need of microfinancing will see the maximum available amount for immediate loans increase from €25,000 to €50,000.

“We are facing an unprecedented level of uncertainty, and businesses may want to access advice on how best to protect their businesses,” Humphreys said. “A Finance in Focus grant of €7,200 will be available to Enterprise Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta clients that want to access consultancy support to undertake immediate finance reviews.

“In addition, Local Enterprise Offices in every county will be providing vouchers from €2,500 up to €10,000 – with 50:50 match funding – to support business continuity preparedness, innovation and productivity. I encourage businesses to take advantage of these supports.”

The Government recently introduced emergency legislation that would see illness benefit temporarily rise from €203 per week to €305, which will be made available from the first day of illness rather than after six days.

While no minimum number of PRSI contributions will be needed to avail of the increased rate, a medical certificate will be required.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic