ACCA Ireland is reminding people this week that Covid-19 funding is available to Limerick businesses to cover the cost of developing a business continuity plan; to start to trade online and to prepare for the future through adopting digital technology.
Funding that is available to support SMEs include; Trading Online Vouchers for those with up to 10 employees, the Online Retail Scheme and SME Digital Hub Connectivity Support, set to open in 2021. Funding is also available for business continuity planning, effectively covering the cost of businesses identifying their own pathways to future business success.
ACCA has also welcomed the government’s new Inter-Departmental Group on remote working which it says will be crucial to Munster’s regional economy. The Group’s report, which was referred to in the budget is expected to be published in early 2021.
With almost 3,000 ACCA members and 3,000 ACCA students located throughout Munster, the professional accountancy body has a strong footprint in the province, and it has said that a joined-up approach between business and government is key to sustaining jobs and supporting long term resilience and sustainability.
Commenting on support for SMEs who are faced with a multitude of challenges, Peter Ring, Chair of ACCA Munster Panel said:
“It is imperative that the Budget and other support schemes are fully implemented and delivered upon in order to support regional SMEs to adapt and survive in the coming weeks.”
“With a €13m digital support package and €2,500 in trading vouchers designated for businesses between now and 2021, it is crucial that regional SMEs engage with funding bodies urgently to ensure timely allocation of monies to support business sustainability.”
“As enforced COVID restrictions continue to pose major challenges for Munster’s businesses and the sustainability of livelihoods, digital transformation can support regional SMEs to move services and products online in the immediate future.”
Commenting on the impact the work the Inter Departmental Group can have in supporting a robust remote working strategy, Peter added:
“Many SMEs in Munster, particularly those within regions such as Kerry, Cork, Limerick and Waterford are missing out on the vital economic income driven by tourism. Whilst a significant blow, workers being empowered to live and work in the Munster region can help to sustain some businesses in the short term and revitalise local sectors in the longer term.”
“SMEs need to be able to plan for the next six months, however, with COVID restrictions ongoing and uncertainty on remote working policy challenges are mounting for this vital sector, and the committed approach of government supporting and working in partnership with business to provide logical solutions will be crucial throughout 2021.”
ACCA are advising businesses in Limerick to take the following steps as a matter of priority:
Check for eligibility of the Trading Online Voucher scheme which is designed to assist small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade more online, boost sales and reach new markets
Engage with Enterprise Ireland on dates for the opening of the Online Retail Scheme and Digital Hub connectivity programme