Ireland’s Social Protection Minister, Heather Humphreys, has today opened applications for the newly revamped Enterprise Support Grant – designed to assist the self-employed as they get back on their feet following COVID-19.
The grant, worth up to €1,000 per person, is aimed at sole traders such as taxi drivers plumbers, electricians and carpenters, who do not pay commercial rates and therefore do not qualify for the Government’s Restart Grant Plus Scheme.
The Enterprise Support Grant previously supported entrepreneurs who were setting up new enterprises. But it has now been revamped to specifically provide one-off support for self-employed people who have been severely impacted and have had to cease operations as a result of the Pandemic.
Minister Humphreys said: “The Enterprise Support Grant is designed to assist the self-employed, who are crucial to our economic recovery, to get back on their feet following the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Thousands of sole traders and small business owners right across the country have in recent months been in receipt of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).
“For many, this was the first time they ever had to apply for State support. The PUP was a vital lifeline for people who, through no fault of their own, found themselves out of work.
“That’s why I took the decision to extend the payment until April of next year.”
The Minister continued: ”In the past, the Enterprise Support Grant was designed to assist people in opening a business. Today, I’m opening applications to people who need assistance in getting back on their feet and their businesses back up and running.
“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.
“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 Department of Social Protection has stated that this Grant will assist those people who transitioned from the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment into self-employment since 18 May, which marked Phase One of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.
Once-off funding of up to a maximum €1,000 will be available to assist them with re-opening their business.
This grant seeks to support micro self-employed enterprises, not currently eligible for similar grant funding through other Departments.
The support is available to small business owners who employ fewer than 10 people, are not liable for commercial rates and have an annual turnover of less than €1 million - providing kick-start funding to those enterprises that do not have an entitlement to other business re-start grants.
It will be paid on the basis of expenditure incurred by an applicant to re-open their business covering their costs up to €1,000.