HomeBussinessRetail, hospitality SMEs to get grants of up to €5,000

Retail, hospitality SMEs to get grants of up to €5,000

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Small and medium businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors are to receive grants of up to €5,000 under a new round of the Increased Cost of Business scheme worth €66 million.

The package of supports, which will be launched by Minister for Enterprise Peter Burke, will also increase the maximum amount available under the Energy Efficiency Grant for small businesses to €10,000.

From today, the Increased Cost of Business scheme will open for a fortnight for any business which did not register to date.

Minister Burke is also set to announce a change to the PRSI threshold from €441 to €496 from next October.

The change, costing €54 million a year, will ensure businesses with staff earning the minimum wage will pay a lower rate of employer PRSI at 8.8%.

Minister for Enterprise Peter Burke will launch the package of supports (file photo)

The Government has agreed that employers’ PRSI must be considered by the Low Pay Commission when recommending future changes to the minimum wage.

Meanwhile, the grant which helps businesses develop an idea or product called the Innovation Voucher Scheme will also be doubled from €5,000 to €10,000.

Minister Burke is to review new ERSI research on the impact of statutory sick leave before deciding on further increases.

The number of statutory sick leave days had been due to increase from the current five days to ten days by 2026.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland has welcomed the top up in cash support for businesses in the retail and hospitality sector.

However, the Association said the key measure to help restaurants and food led businesses is a reduction VAT to 9%.

Minister for Finance Michael McGrath said the planned supports are “fair and balanced”.

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Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he said costs have increased significantly for many SMEs and the measures are designed to help them.

He also said the energy efficiency grant trading online voucher scheme is being improved and the Government is “asking the ESRI to examine the impact of changes the statutory sick pay, among other measures.”

Asked about debt outstanding to the State from the Covid-19 pandemic, the minister said the tax warehousing scheme “has been very successful”.

He said today is the “very final day”, for any remaining businesses that have not engaged.

Mr McGrath said there are around 11,700 businesses which have not yet submitted a phase payment arrangement and “they need to do that by the close of business today”.

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