The Restart Grant Plus scheme established under the Government’s Jobs Stimulus Initiative last month, gives grants to businesses to help them reopen their premises and get back to work.
Grants of between €4,000 up to a maximum of €25,000 are available. To qualify for the scheme, enterprises must have:
- 250 employees or less;
- Turnover of less than €100,000 per employee; and
- Reduced turnover by 25% as a result of COVID-19
Those that accessed funding through the previous round of the scheme are eligible to apply for a second top-up payment to a total combined value of the revised maximum grant level.
Under the Restart Grant Plus scheme, support will also be provided for enterprises that could not access the original grant scheme, including rateable sports businesses and trading charity shops. Non-rated B&Bs will be eligible for a grant payment of €4,000.
Firms can apply through Dublin City Council at https://www.dublincity.ie/restartbusinessgrant.
Below is a FAQ prepared by Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar TD, Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment:
1. How soon will I get my grant?
On average, we will aim to process (meaning Yes/No/further information required) applications within two weeks. This may not be possible at the early stages if there is a large initial surge of applications.
2. How much will I get?
In most cases (but see FAQ’s 11, 12, 13 and the Table below), the grant will be the amount of the rates assessment for the premises for 2019 with a minimum grant of €4,000 and a maximum grant of €25,000 (or maximum of €15,000 for businesses that received the maximum €10,000 under the original Restart Grant Scheme).
3. What can I use the grant for?
The grant is a contribution towards the cost of re-opening or keeping a business operational and re-connecting with employees and customers. The grant could be used to defray ongoing fixed costs, for example, utilities, insurance, refurbishment or for measures to ensure employee and customer safety.
4. If I have not paid my 2019 rates, am I eligible?
5. If my rates are in arrears, am I eligible?
6. If my premises was not rate assessed in 2019 am I eligible?
Yes. The Local Authority will estimate what your rates demand for 2019 would have been. (If for some reason an estimate cannot be made the minimum grant of €4,000 will be paid.)
7. How do I apply?
The application can be made online via your local authority website.
8. How will the grant be paid?
In most cases the grant will be paid by electronic transfer to the business account from which you pay your rates.
9. What are the criteria for qualifying for the grant?
A business must:
- Be a commercial, trading, entity;
- Operate from a premises that is commercially rateable by a local authority (but see FAQ 10 re certain B&B establishments);
- Have 0 – 250 employees;
- Have a turnover of less than €100k per employee to a maximum of €25m;
- Have suffered a 25%+ loss in turnover between 1 April and 30 June 2020.
- Commit to remain open or to reopen if closed; and
- Intend to retain employees that are on The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).
The DETE will arrange to carry out spot-checks to ensure compliance with the qualifying criteria.
10. Can tourism-related businesses apply?
Rate-paying tourism/hospitality related businesses, including independent hotels and B&B’s that meet the qualifying criteria can apply.
B&Bs that are not in rateable premises can apply for a flat €4,000 grant. PLEASE NOTE: This grant is administered by Fáilte Ireland, NOT the local authority.
11. Can sporting organisations apply?
Rate-paying Sports Clubs, such as GAA Clubs and Golf Clubs that have commercial activities (e.g. bar/restaurant) can apply for a grant which will be the amount of the rates assessment for the premises for 2019 subject to a minimum grant of €4,000 and a maximum grant of €25,000, that is, to cover all the commercial elements of the organisation.
12. What about Charity Organisations?
Charity Shops with a trading income, and operating from rateable premises, can apply for a grant which will be the amount of the rates assessment for the premises for 2019 subject to a minimum grant of €4,000 and a maximum grant of €25,000. However, non-trading community and voluntary organisations are not eligible.
13. What about franchise stores, chain stores and tenant businesses?
a) A franchisee, which is a financially independent company and is completely separate to the franchisor, is eligible to apply.
b) Multinational businesses are not eligible. Irish-based subsidiaries with overseas parent companies are not eligible.
c) Stores that are part of a large chain group company, that is, one legal entity with a number of branches, such as fast food, group and multiple supermarkets, group hotels, group betting shops and group pharmacies, are not eligible.
d) Small business chains can apply if they meet the criteria of <250 employees and a maximum of €25m turnover in totality across the company and all the branches1.
e) A company with a number of stores across one or more local authorities, which meets the turnover and employment criteria, and where each store has a separate rates id, is eligible to apply for the equivalent of the 2019 rates bill for each store, subject to the minimum of €4,000 and the maximum of €25,000 (combined Restart and Restart Plus) grant for each store.
f) A company with a number of stores in just one local authority, which meets the turnover and employment criteria, and that pays rates under one account will be eligible to apply for the equivalent of the 2019 rates bill for each premises, subject to the minimum of €4,000 and the maximum of €25,000 (combined Restart and Restart Plus) grant for each store. The local authority can identify and verify that the individual premises are separate units in the rates account.
g) For tenant businesses, the grant is for the business rather than the landlord. The local authorities can identify the rates equivalent for the individual business units and calculate the grant payable on that basis. If the rates payable is lower than €4,000, the tenant should receive the minimum grant of €4,000.
14. What is the situation regarding Professional Services?
Professional Services such as Accountants, Architects, GPs, Dentists, Opticians, Consultants, etc., are eligible if they are operating from rateable premises and meet the criteria, including loss of turnover. However, other services not operating from rateable premises, sole traders, etc., are not eligible.
15. I am a Childcare Provider. Can I apply for the Restart Grant Plus and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs supports?
Among the COVID-19 supports available from the DCYA are two reopening supports specifically to Childcare Providers: a DCYA Capital Grant and a DCYA Reopening Support Payment. Childcare Providers who apply for the DCYA Reopening Support Payment cannot then apply for the Restart Grant Plus. (Childcare Providers who have received a Restart or Restart Grant Plus must declare the amount due/received in the application form to the DCYA and this will be offset against the Reopening Support Payment. Receiving the DCYA Capital Grant does not affect whether you can apply for the DCYA Reopening Support Payment or the Restart Grant Plus.)
16. What is the closing date?
The closing date for receipt of applications is 30 September 2020.
17. What is my Customer Number?
Your Customer Number is located on your commercial rates demand.
18. What is my Rate Number?
Your Rate Number (or LAID) is located on your commercial rates demand.
19. What is a Bank Statement Header?
The bank statement header is the top of a recent bank statement (dated within the past 6 months) indicating your business name and address and business bank account number, which should be scanned and uploaded as an attachment to the application form to verify your business name and address, and your bank account details, that is, BIC and IBAN.
20. How do I sign the form?
A typed signature should be included on the form.
21. Do I need to submit a Tax Clearance Access Number?
If you are making an application totalling €10,000 or more, you must submit a Tax Clearance Access Number to allow your tax clearance status to be checked. To ensure no delays occur between approval and payment, it is advisable to include your Tax Clearance Access Number on your application.
22. If I am not happy with the decision to refuse my grant can I appeal?
Yes, any decision to refuse a grant may be appealed to your local authority.
23. Where can I get more information?
Further information can be obtained from your Local Authority Business Support Unit.
Arbour Hill, Ballybough, Broadstone, Church Street, City Centre, Clonliffe Road, Constitution Hill, Drumcondra, Dublin City Council, East Wall, Fine Gael, Grangegorman, Markets, Montpelier, North Circular Road, North Strand, North Wall, Phibsborough, Quays, Rathdown Road, Smithfield, Stoneybatter
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee