Self-employed traders and businesses employing fewer than 10 people can now apply for funding of up to €1,000 to cover reopening costs such as fuel, wages and mentoring.
The updated Enterprise Support Grant for self-employed workers in Ireland is now open for applications. Previously aimed at entrepreneurs setting up new businesses, the scheme will now help self-employed people impacted by Covid-19 who do not pay commercial rates, such as carpenters, electricians and plumbers.
Many people working in these industries have had to cease operations during the pandemic, but they are “crucial to our economic recovery”, said Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys, TD.
The scheme will provide sole traders and small business owners with a once-off grant of up to €1,000 to restart businesses that were closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
It will assist people who have moved from the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment into self-employment since 18 May. To qualify, self-employed enterprises must also employ less than 10 people, have an annual turnover of less than €1m, and must also not be currently eligible for similar grant funding through other departments.
Another key aspect of the Government’s July stimulus package, the Restart Grant Plus, was recently announced to help SMEs get back to work. Those ineligible for the Restart Grant Plus may be able to apply for the Enterprise Support Grant.
“Whether it’s paying wages, fuel costs, purchasing PPE or signage, this is an important grant to assist the self-employed to reopen their business and get back doing what they do best: providing crucial and essential services in their communities,” Humphreys said.
“So if you’re a plumber, carpenter, beautician, gardener or electrician who is transitioning back to work, or the taxi driver getting your car back on the road, this grant may be of interest to you.”
The grant will be paid through expenditures made by applicants while reopening their businesses. Associated costs outlined on the Government’s website include business advice or mentoring, fuel, wages, safety measures and repairs. Normal business costs will not be covered.