Important Information Regarding the Restart Grant and Restart Grant Plus Schemes

  1. The Restart Grant Plus Scheme, including the top-ups applied nationwide and in certain counties, will close from midnight on Saturday 31st October.  A new COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) was established as part of Budget 2021 on 13th October 2020 and is being operated by the Revenue Commissioners

  2. If you did not apply for the original Restart Grant scheme, which was introduced at the end of May 2020, and believe that you may have been eligible, then please contact your local authority for further information. This process will close at midnight on 31st October.


Activating County Towns Logo

Cork County Council is now accepting applications from local businesses for the Restart Grant Plus. This scheme builds upon the previous Restart Grant Scheme by increasing the minimum grant from €2,000 to €4,000 and increasing the maximum from €10,000 to €25,000.

Eligibility has also expanded, with applications open to companies employing up to 250 eligible compared to less than 50 in the previous scheme, non-rateable B&B’s, Sports clubs with commercial activities and trading charity shops are also now eligible. Businesses that availed of the previous Restart Grant from Cork County Council do not need to reapply and will be contacted over the coming days.

The Restart Grant Plus was announced by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar T.D. as part of the government’s July Stimulus package, a €7.4bn package of measures designed to stimulate a jobs-led recovery and build economic confidence while continuing to manage the impact of Covid-19. This announcement sees €300m additional funding on top of the €250m previously committed to the Restart Grant Scheme.

Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley said

“Small and medium businesses are an integral part of life in County Cork and I’m delighted to see these additional supports being made available. There are so many businesses throughout our towns and villages that shape our local identity and character, and provide fantastic services to residents and visitors alike. I encourage all businesses in Cork to look into this grant scheme, so that we can continue to lead way in our social and economic recovery.”

Deputy Chief Executive of Cork County Council James Fogarty added

“Cork County Council welcomes this new and improved suite of supports for businesses, which will increase employment and support businesses in adapting to the current situation. By providing jobs and accessible local options for goods and services in Cork County, the Restart Grant Plus will have a resounding impact on our local economy and play a vital role in the Council’s Project ACT initiative to Activate County Towns.”

Applications for the Restart Grant Plus can be made online at www.YourCouncil.ie.  Cork County Council has also established a dedicated helpline on (021)4208000 and email at RestartFund@CorkCoCo.ie.

Interested businesses can apply at www.YourCouncil.ie

Non- rated B&B’s will apply to Fáilte Ireland, who will administer the funding over the coming weeks.

To qualify for a grant, the important criteria are:

  • A business must be commercial and in the local authority rates system (apart from non-rated B&Bs who can apply to Fáilte Ireland);
  • It must have suffered a 25% loss of expected turnover between 1 April and 30 June 2020;
  • It must have less than 250 employees and turnover less than €25m; 
  • It must declare its intention to re-employ staff in receipt of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme

Further details about the Restart Grant Plus

  • The grant will be based on the amount of the rates assessment for the premises for 2019 (excluding arrears) with a new minimum grant of €4,000 and a maximum grant of €25,000 (Increased from €2,000 min and €10,000 max).
  • Eligible firms now include medium-sized firms and independent hotels with up to 250 employees, as well as small firms (increased from 50 employees).
  • Businesses impacted by a 25% reduction in turnover will be eligible provided they commit to reopening and to hiring and sustaining employment.
  • A turnover of up to €25m is now allowable, increased from €5m. There is a cap of €100,000 turnover per employee.
  • Commercial sports businesses and trading charity shops in rated premises can now apply for the grant.
  • The hospitality sector, restaurants, pubs, activity centres and tourist attractions, e.g., galleries, museums are eligible if they are operating from a rated premise.
  • B&Bs in non-rated premises will be eligible to apply for the minimum €4,000 grant from Fáilte Ireland.
  • A franchisee which is a financially independent company and is completely separate to the franchisor is eligible to apply.
  • Small company chains can apply if they meet the criteria of <250 employees and €25m turnover in totality across the company and all the branches. 
  • Multinationals are not eligible. Small Irish based subsidiaries with overseas parent companies are not eligible.
  • Large chains that are part of a large group company, i.e. one legal entity with a number of branches, such as fast food, group and multiple supermarkets, group hotels, group betting shops and group pharmacies are not eligible.

 

 

  1. How soon will I get my grant?

On average, we will aim to process (meaning Yes/No/further information required) applications within two weeks. This may not be possible at the early stages if there is a large initial surge of applications.

  1. How much will I get?

In most cases (but see FAQ’s 10, 11, 12 and the Table at the end), the grant will be the amount of the rates assessment for the premises for 2019 (excluding arrears) with a minimum grant of €4,000 and a maximum grant of €25,000(or maximum of €15,000 for businesses that received the maximum €10,000 under the original Restart Grant Scheme).

  1. What can I use the grant for?

The grant is a contribution towards the cost of re-opening or keeping a business operational and re-connecting with employees and customers. The grant could be used to defray ongoing fixed costs, e.g. utilities, insurance, refurbishment or for measures to ensure employee and customer safety.

  1. If I have not paid my 2019 rates, am I eligible?

Yes.

If my rates are in arrears, am I eligible?

Yes.

  1. If my premises was not rate assessed in 2019 am I eligible?

Yes. The Local Authority will estimate what your rates demand for 2019 would have been. (If for some reason an estimate cannot be made the minimum grant of €4,000 will be paid.)

  1. How do I apply?

The application can be made online via www.YourCouncil.ie

  1. How will the grant be paid?

In most cases the grant will be paid by electronic transfer to the business account from which you pay your rates.

  1. What are the criteria for qualifying for the grant? 

A business must:

  • Be a commercial, trading, entity;
  • Operate from a premises that is commercially rateable by a local authority (but see FAQ 9 re certain B&B establishments);
  • Have 0 - 250 employees;
  • Have a turnover of less than €100k per employee to a maximum of €25m[1];
  • Have suffered a 25%+ loss in turnover between 1 April and 30 June 2020.
  • Commit to remain open or to reopen if closed; and
  • Intend to retain employees that are on The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).

The DETE will arrange to carry out spot-checks to ensure compliance with the qualifying criteria.

  1. Can tourism-related businesses apply?

Rate-paying tourism/hospitality related businesses, including independent hotels and B&B’s that meet the qualifying criteria can apply.

B&Bs that are not in rateable premises can apply for a flat €4,000 grant. PLEASE NOTE: This grant is administered by Fáilte Ireland, NOT the local authority.

  1. Can sporting organisations apply?

Rate-paying Sports Clubs, such asGAA Clubs and Golf Clubs that have commercial activities (e.g. bar/restaurant) can apply for a grant which will be the amount of the rates assessment for the premises for 2019 (excluding arrears) subject to a minimum grant of €4,000 and a maximum grant of €25,000i.e. to cover all the commercial elements of the organisation.

  1. What about Charity Organisations?

Charity Shops with a trading income, and operating from rateable premises, can apply for a grant which will be the amount of the rates assessment for the premises for 2019 (excluding arrears) subject to a minimum grant of €4,000 and a maximum grant of €25,000.However, non-trading community and voluntary organisations are not eligible.

  1. What about franchise stores, chain stores and tenant businesses?
  1. A franchisee, which is a financially independent company and is completely separate to the franchisor, is eligible to apply.
  2. Multinational businesses are not eligible. Irish-based subsidiaries with overseas parent companies are not eligible.
  3. Stores that are part of a large chain group company, i.e., one legal entity with a number of branches, such as fast food, group and multiple supermarkets, group hotels, group betting shops and group pharmacies,are not eligible.
  4. Small business chains can apply if they meet the criteria of <250 employees and a maximum of €25m turnover in totality across the company and all the branches. 
  5. A company with a number of stores across one or more local authorities, which meets the turnover and employment criteria, and where each store has a separate rates id, is eligible to apply for the equivalent of the 2019 rates bill for each store, subject to the minimum of €4,000 and the maximum of €25,000 (combined Restart and Restart Plus)  grant for each store.
  6. A company with a number of stores in just one local authority, which meets the turnover and employment criteria, and that pays rates under one account will be eligible to apply for the equivalent of the 2019 rates bill for each premises, subject to the minimum of €4,000 and the maximum of €25,000 (combined Restart and Restart Plus) grant for each store.  The local authority can identify and verify that the individual premises are separate units in the rates account.
  7. For tenant businesses, the grant is for the business rather than the landlord.  The local authorities can identify the rates equivalent for the individual business units and calculate the grant payable on that basis. If the rates payable is lower than €4,000, the tenant should receive the minimum grant of €4,000.

 

  1. What is the situation regarding Professional Services

Professional Services such as Accountants, Architects, GPs, Dentists, Opticians, Consultants, etc., are eligible if they are operating from rateable premises and meet the criteria,including loss of turnover.

However, other services not operating from rateable premises, sole traders, etc., are not eligible.

  1. I am a Childcare Provider. Can I apply for the RestartGrantPlus and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs supports.

Among the COVID-19 supports available from the DCYA are two reopening supports specifically to Childcare Providers: a DCYA Capital Grant and a DCYA Reopening Support Payment. Childcare Providers who apply for the DCYA Reopening Support Payment cannot then apply for the RestartGrant Plus. (Childcare Providers who have received a Restart or Restart GrantPlus must declare the amount due/received in the application form to the DCYA and this will be offset against the Reopening Support Payment. Receiving the DCYA Capital Grant does not affect whether you can apply for the DCYA Reopening Support Payment or the Restart GrantPlus.)

  1. What is the closing date?

The closing date for receipt of applications is 31st October 2020.

  1. What is my Customer Number?

Your Customer Number is located on your commercial rates demand.

  1. What is my Rate Number?

Your Rate Number (or LAID) is located on your commercial rates demand.

  1. What is a Bank Statement Header?

The bank statement header is the top of a recent bank statement(dated within the past 6 months) indicating your business name and address and business bank account number, which should be scanned and uploaded as an attachment to the application form to verify your business name and address, and your bank account details i.e. BIC and IBAN.

  1. How do I sign the form?

A typed signature should be included on the form.

  1. Do I need to submit a Tax Clearance Access Number?

If you are making an application totalling €10,000 or more, you must submit a Tax Clearance Access Number to allow your tax clearance status to be checked. To ensure no delays occur between approval and payment, it is advisable to include your Tax Clearance Access Number on your application.

  1. If I am not happy with the decision to refuse my grant can I appeal?

Yes, any decision to refuse a grant may be appealed to appealsrestart@corkcoco.ie

  1. Where can I get more information?

Further information can be obtained from your Local Authority Business Support Unit at 021/4208000

RestartGrantPlus - Explanatory Chart

What will my business be eligible for?

 

The Restart GrantPlus is a NEW standalone grant that is available to all eligible businesses, including those who received a grant in the 1st Restart Grant Scheme.

 

  1. Applicants who received a grant under the 1st Restart Schemecan apply again for a 2nd grant by submitting a Declaration Form.

 

Sample 2019 Rates Bill

Grant under Original Restart Scheme

Additional Grantpayable undernew Revised Restart Grant Plus Scheme

Rates bill less than €2k in 2019

€2k min

A further €4k (new minimum)

€3k rates bill

€3k

A further €4k (new minimum)

€5k rates bill

€5k

A further €5k

€8k rates bill

€8k

A further €8k

€10k rates bill or greater

€10k max

A further payment equivalent to 2019 rates bill to a maximum of €15k (i.e. overall combined maximum total €25K)

 

  1. First-time Applicants who are now eligible under the Restart Grant Plus Scheme must submit the Application Form.

Business Type

Grant payable

 

Small &Medium sized Companies/independent hotels.

2019 rates assessment subject to minimum grant of 4k and a maximum of 25k.

Sports clubs commercial activities (in rateable premises)

2019 rates assessment subject to minimum grant of 4k and a maximum of 25k.

Trading Charity shops (in rateable premises)

2019 rates assessment subject to minimum grant of 4k and a maximum of 25k.

Non-rate paying B&Bs

€4k only (NB Applications to be made to Fáilte Irelandwww.failteireland.ie )


[1] The criteria regarding turnover of < €100K per employee will be assessed in groups of 25, e.g.<50 staff must have under a maximum €5m turnover, 51 to 75 staff must have a maximum of €7.5m turnover, 76 to 100 staff must have a maximum of €10m turnover,101 to 125 staff amaximum of €12.5m turnover, 126 to 150 staff must have a maximum of €15m turnover,151 to 175 staff a maximum of €17.5m turnover,176 to 200 staff a maximum of €20m turnover,201 to 225 employees a maximum of €22.5m turnover and 226 to 250 employees a maximum of €25m turnover. Employee numbers are expressed in Full-Time Equivalents.