• €6.85m paid out in in supports since August
  • Applications for Grant remain open as Level 5 restrictions are eased
  • Once off payment of up to €1,000 that covers wages, fuel costs, PPE and insurance costs.

Minister for Social Protection Minister, Heather Humphreys, T.D, today announced that some 7,412 people have availed of the Department’s Enterprise Support Grant (ESG) since applications were opened in August 2020.

The grant, a once-off payment worth up to €1,000 per person, is aimed at sole traders such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters, taxi drivers, beauticians etc who do not pay commercial rates and therefore do not qualify for the Government’s Restart Grant Plus Scheme.

In August, the grant was revamped to specifically provide once-off supports for self-employed people who have had to cease operations as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

It is available to assist eligible self-employed people receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment who closed their claim on or after 18 May 2020, in order to re-open their business.

The Enterprise Support Grant is paid on the basis of expenditure incurred by an applicant to re-open their business covering their costs, including wages, fuel costs, purchasing PPE and insurance costs, of up to €1,000.

The main sectors supported to date have been transport, (including taxis) accounting for 30% of claims, tradespeople and those working in construction, accounting for 26% of claims, and 10% of the applications that were approved being from people working in the beauty industry.

Almost one quarter of all grants under the scheme to date have been to micro enterprises in the Dublin region. This is followed by Cork and Galway.

Minister Humphreys commented:

The Enterprise Support Grant offers that kick-start for many self-employed people to help them get their business back up and running again.  This year has presented our sole traders and self-employed people with unprecedented challenges that otherwise may have caused many to cease operations for good.

It is very encouraging to see almost €7 million paid out through the Enterprise Support Grant to keep Ireland open for business and I would urge others who are still weighing up their business options, to consider availing of this grant.

Minister Humphreys continued:

As Level 5 restrictions are eased nationwide from this week, I want to remind people – many of whom may currently be in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment – that applications for the Enterprise Support Grant remain open. I recognise the importance of the Christmas period for Irish businesses and wish to ensure our sole traders and self-employed people can continue to provide their essential services over the festive period and beyond.

Anyone wishing to apply for the grant can download the application form here on www.gov.ie and, when completed should be sent to their local Intreo Centre. Applications are taking, on average, two weeks to process.

The Grant will be awarded to self-employed people who:

  • are tax and PRSI compliant
  • are not liable for commercial rates
  • have been in receipt of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and have closed their claim on or after 18 May 2020
  • have reopened their business which was closed due to the pandemic
  • employ less than 10 people
  • have an annual turnover of less than €1 million
  • are not eligible for the COVID-19 Business Restart Grant or similar COVID-19 business restart grants from other government departments
  • can produce VAT receipts/invoices in respect of business restart costs and expenses claimed, if requested to do so by the Department.

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