New business support voucher from LEO Westmeath

Minister Humphreys introduces new measure as part of COVID-19 Business Supports Package

Photo - Christine Charlton, Local Enterprise Office Westmeath.

The new Business Continuity Voucher is now available through Local Enterprise Office Westmeath and is open to sole traders and companies across every business sector locally that employ up to 50 people, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD has announced.

The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies and sole traders in Westmeath to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The goal is to help business owners make informed decisions about what immediate measures and actions should be taken to protect staff and sales.

Minister Humphreys said: “I know that this is a worrying time for businesses. As part of the package of supports that I announced earlier this month, I am making a €2,500 voucher available through the Local Enterprise Offices from today to enable enterprises to avail of vital business continuity advice.

"This will assist them to develop strategies to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak in both the short-term and long-term.

“The voucher will give companies access to contingency planning advice that will help them to continue trading through this crisis and to be ready for the recovery phase, when it comes.

"It will also help firms to prepare a business case so that they can apply for emergency financial interventions through the banks, the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland or Microfinance Ireland.”

The scheme is open to all types of businesses, across all industries and sectors that employ up to 50 people.

To apply, companies or sole traders fill out a short application form and submit it to Local Enterprise Office Westmeath by email.

When a company is issued with a voucher for third party consultancy, they begin working directly with a qualified expert, selected from existing LEO and Enterprise Ireland panels.

Christine Charlton, Local Enterprise Office Westmeath, said: “For a huge number of small businesses, survival is the over-riding objective at this time so making the right decisions is crucial. There is where the new Business Continuity Voucher can help.

“The kind of areas that the voucher will help will vary, depending on the needs of each business, but it will include important measures such as preparing a business case for application to emergency funding, developing a business continuity plan, reducing variable costs or implementing remote working procedures.”

To apply for the Business Continuity Voucher, companies can submit a short application form to Local Enterprise Office Westmeath by e-mail to localenterprise@westmeathcoco.ie.

Application forms are available to download from www.LocalEnterprise.ie/Response

Details of other business supports available from the Department of Enterprise, Business and Innovation can be found at https://dbei.gov.ie/en/

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