Willie O'Dea has written to Minister Heather Humphreys | PICTURE: MICHAEL COWHEY
LIMERICK TD Willie O’Dea has written to Enterprise Mnister Heather Humphreys to ask she re-examine the eligibility criteria for the restart grant for business.
The grant is designed to help firms which employ under 50 people and with a turnover of less than €5m with grants of up to €10,000.
But Mr O’Dea says there are some aspects of the grant which small business owners in the city are querying.
“As it stands it precludes small businesses which are in their infancy. If a business cannot provide a rates evaluation for 2019, which new businesses might not be able to, then they cannot access the grant,” he said, “What about the micro-businesses and entrepreneurs working from their home offices? Arguably they are the ones who need this grant the most and yet they frozen out of it – this has to be re-examined. It is also not clear whether a sole trader with no employees is eligible to apply for the scheme.”
Mr O’Dea argued the grants are very small when compared to Britain, where firms there can access up to £25,000 in grants.
“Calling a spade, a spade, a cash grant of €10,000 for a small or microbusiness would make a much greater difference to their viability than a €2,000 grant. We know that some businesses will never open their doors again, but we should be encouraging and supporting as many as possible to get back to business,” Mr O'Dea concluded.