Small businesses in Waterford encouraged to apply for grant

Small businesses in Waterford are being urged to apply to the council to avail of the Local Authority Restart Grant, which will provide them with anywhere between €2,000 and €10,000 aimed at helping them to reopen and to re-employ workers following Covid-19 closures.

The call was issued by Waterford City and County Council’s Chief Executive, Michael Walsh, who singled out small businesses in particular, saying: “Small retail businesses due to open in Phase 2 should apply for the grant via Waterford City and County Council and they will be prioritised.”

Continuing, Mr Walsh added that the funds on offer could be used by businesses in a variety of ways such as offsetting some fixed costs, covering the cost of reopening, replenishing stock, or even implementing new health and safety protocols.

Support ahead

Funding from this grant will also be made available to other businesses as they reopen across later phases set out in the Government Roadmap.

Highlighting this, Mr Walsh noted: “Over the coming weeks and months in Phases 3, 4 and 5 more retail outlets, offices, restaurants, hotels, cafes, pubs, childcare facilities and indoor recreational centres are scheduled to reopen. These businesses too should begin the process of applying for the Restart Grant in order to avoid delay.”

A briefing document circulated by Waterford City and County Council on Friday, 5 June, stated: “403 completed applications have been received and assessment of these applications has commenced.

“There are a further 271 applications that are at draft stage which are being currently completed by applicants.”

Continuing, officials further noted that a dedicated team had been established within the council to administer the scheme and process applications.

In addition to this, some 120 email queries had, so far, passed through an email account specially set up by the council. Out of this number, the local authority had responded to an impressive 115 questions from small businesses.

On Friday last, the Government announced an acceleration of the phased reopening of Irish society and business. It is not yet known how this will impact on schemes such as the Restart Grant.

However it is worth noting that, in a statement made prior to the Taoiseach announcing this truncated Roadmap, Waterford City and County Council admitted: “Processing of applications and payment of the Restart Grant will depend on the initial surge of applications.”

The Restart Grant has certain parameters, for example a business looking to avail of it has to be in the local authority’s commercial rates payment system.

In addition to this, the business must employ between 1 and 50 people, have an annual turnover of less than €5 million and have closed or suffered a projected loss of one quarter of its turnover by the end of June, 2020.