The Lean Business Continuity Voucher is available to eligible companies to access up to €2,500 in training or advisory services support related to the continued operation of their businesses during the current pandemic.
There is a limit of one voucher per company in general, although Enterprise Ireland may offer further vouchers where a company has more than one distinct operation (to a maximum of 3).
It is expected that this support would be delivered online in most cases, in the form of management advice or training of management or staff within the company or a combination of both. The focus must be on the operations of the company in terms of:
- Crisis response where appropriate,
- Sustaining Operations including process re-engineering (Lean, etc),
- Planning for resilience post crisis.
Enterprise Ireland in conjunction with IDA Ireland has invited relevant training and consultancy firms to provide services under this scheme.
The voucher may be used to obtain services from approved providers (see the official directory list).
The voucher is open to small, medium or large client companies of Enterprise Ireland or Údarás na Gaeltachta (including High Potential Start-ups). The voucher may be used to obtain services from approved providers.
Minister Heather Humphries, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Her press release is available, here.
Many and varied government support mechanisms are being announced on an almost daily basis, and are listed on a central information hub. All support systems are being coordinated at national level via the various government departments.
- The Credit Guarantee Scheme supports loans up to €1 million for periods of up to 7 years. Applications can be made to AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank. Eligibility criteria apply.
- The new €450m SBCI COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme for eligible businesses supports loans from €25,000 up to €1.5 million (first €500,000 unsecured) with a maximum interest rate of 4%. Applications can be made through the SBCI website at sbci.gov.ie. Eligibility criteria apply.
- An additional €200 million in COVID-19 funding for the Future Growth Loan Scheme, which will be released in tranches, will provide longer-term loans to COVID-19 impacted businesses.
- The new Sustaining Enterprise Fund of up to €180 million is specifically aimed at firms with 10 or more employees impacted by COVID-19 that are vulnerable but viable. The fund is operated by Enterprise Ireland, providing repayable advances of up to €800,000 as agreed with the EU under new State Aid rules.
- The government has announced a National COVID-19 Income Support Scheme. This provides financial support to Irish workers and businesses affected by the crisis.
- COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme: The COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme enables employees, whose employers are affected by the pandemic, to receive significant supports directly from their employer through the payroll system. The scheme is operated by Revenue and is expected to last 12 weeks from 26 March 2020.
- Pandemic Unemployment Payment: The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a payment of €350 per week. It is available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MyWelfare.ie is the quickest and easiest way to apply for payments - all you need is your email address, PPSN and bank account details.
- Short-time Work Support: Employees of businesses that need to reduce hours or days worked can avail of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Short-time Work Support.
- General grant supports: The full range of Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Local Enterprise Office and Údarás na Gaeltachta grant supports continue to be available to eligible firms to help with strategies to access finance, commence or ramp-up online trading activity, reconfigure business models, cut costs, innovate, diversify markets and supply chains and to improve competitiveness.
- Business Continuity Voucher: The Local Enterprise Office Business Continuity Voucher is designed for businesses across every sector that employ up to 50 people. The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Trading Online Voucher: The Local Enterprise Office Trading Online Voucher is a government grant scheme, designed to assist small businesses with up to 10 employees. It offers financial assistance of up to €2,500 along with training and advice to help your business trade online. Businesses that have already received a Trading Online Voucher can now apply for a second voucher, where upgrades are required.
- Training and Mentoring: The Local Enterprise Offices have moved training programmes, workshops and networking meet-ups online, covering areas such as cash management in a crisis, leading your business through COVID-19 and advice for employers impacted by the crisis. To find out more telephone or email your Local Enterprise Office.
- COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme: A new COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme will be administered by Enterprise Ireland and will be open to retailers employing over 10 people. The total fund size will be up to €2 million under this competitive call. The objective of the Scheme is to support companies in the indigenous retail sector with a pre-existing online presence to respond to both the domestic and international consumer demand for a competitive online offer. Grants ranging from €10,000 to €40,000 will be awarded under the competitive scheme.
- COVID-19 Business Financial Planning Grant: The COVID-19 Business Financial Planning Grant, worth up to €5,000, is designed to help companies to develop a robust financial plan, including the preparation of documentation required to support applications for external finance from banks and/or other finance providers. The grant is a new support for Enterprise Ireland clients and those manufacturing or internationally traded services companies that employ 10 or more full time employees.