As towns and villages reopen, Cork County Council is calling on businesses to avail of a fund which can assist with their reopening costs following Covid-19 closures.

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The Restart Grant, available as part of the Governments package of supports, is a €250m fund which gives direct grant aid to micro and small businesses to help them with the costs associated with reopening and re-employing workers. The grant can be used to defray ongoing fixed costs, for replenishing stock and for measures needed to ensure employee and customer safety. As Cork County Council continues its countywide reactivation programme Project ACT, it is encouraging small local businesses to avail this grant, one of a range of supports available to help them reopen, adapt and kick start the economy. The call comes as the initial first round of approved applications have been processed, with payments due to be made this week.

Following news that almost 2,000 businesses across the county have made online applications for the grant to date, Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Ian Doyle commented:

“Local businesses play a vital role in our communities and are crucial in our recovery from the effects of this pandemic. It’s encouraging to see so many businesses applying for the Restart Grant to support their reopening and reconnection with their customers. The Council have carried out extensive works throughout our towns to support reopening under Project ACT and businesses are doing the same, as they prepare to operate under a ‘new normal’. I encourage all eligible businesses to apply for the grant, which may help to alleviate some of the pressures that our small businesses are currently experiencing.”

Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey added:

“It has been our experience that the talent, innovation and resilience of local businesses in Cork has had a positive effect on communities, providing economic stimulation, employment and a sense of pride. The Restart Grant and the wide range of services available from the Council’s Local Enterprise Offices will aid in the economic recovery of the entire community of County Cork. Many businesses may find themselves struggling due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, I strongly encourage them to apply to this fund and avail of the resources available from Cork County Council to support local businesses.”

The Restart Grant makes between €2,000 and €10,000 of direct aid available to businesses based on the 2019 commercial rates bill. The grant will be available to businesses with a turnover of less than €5m and employing 50 people or less, which were closed or impacted by at least a 25% reduction in turnover out to June 30th 2020.

Applications for the Restart Grant can be submitted online at www.yourcouncil.ie Cork County Council has established a dedicated helpline on 021 4208000, queries may also be made by email to [email protected]

The Restart Grant is part of the wider national €12 billion package of supports for businesses of all sizes, which includes grants, low-cost loans, write-off of commercial rates and deferred tax liabilities, all of which will help to improve cash flow amongst SMEs.

Further business supports from Cork County Council’s Local Enterprise offices include Business Continuity Vouchers, for Businesses employing up to 50 staff, worth up to €2,500 for third party consultancy costs to assist with developing short-term and long-term strategies to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, Trading Online Vouchers, which help businesses establish an online marketplace, and a series of webinars starting from June 15th, covering topics of relevance to businesses affected by the pandemic. Information on resources available from Cork County Council’s Local Enterprise Offices is available from their websites, https://www.localenterprise.ie/CorkNorthandWest/ and https://www.localenterprise.ie/SouthCork/.

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