€1,000 Covid grants available to self employed

(Above) Minister of State Peter Burke.

Self-employed people in Westmeath should apply for the newly-revamped Enterprise Support Grant to help them get back on their feet after Covid-19, Minister for State Peter Burke says.

The grant, worth up to €1,000 per person, is aimed at sole traders such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters, taxi drivers etc, who do not pay commercial rates and therefore do not qualify for the Government’s Restart Grant Plus Scheme.

Minister Peter Burke said: “My colleague Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys has opened applications to people who need assistance in getting back on their feet and their businesses back up and running.

“The Enterprise Support Grant previously supported entrepreneurs who were setting up new enterprises. But it has now been revamped to specifically provide once-off supports for self-employed people who have been severely impacted and have had to cease operations as a result of the pandemic. Those who do not have a rateable premises were excluded from the Restart Grant, so it is positive to see alternative support being offered now by this government.

“I would strongly encourage self-employed people locally to apply for this grant, whether it’s to assist with operating costs or salaries for their staff, so that they continue to provide the crucial services that our communities depend upon.

“Anyone wishing to apply for the grant can download the application form on www.welfare.ie and, when completed should be sent to their local Intreo Centre. I also have forms in my office and am happy to assist anyone with their application.

“Many sole traders and small business owners in Westmeath have in recent months been in receipt of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

“The PUP has been a crucial support for people who, through no fault of their own, found themselves out of work and that is why Minister Humphreys decided to extend the payment until April next year,” Deputy Burke said.

The Department of Social Protection has stated that this grant will assist those people who transitioned from the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment into self-employment since May 18th, which marked Phase One of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business. Once-off funding of up to a maximum €1,000 will be available to assist them with re-opening their business.

The support is available to small business owners who employ fewer than 10 people, are not liable for commercial rates and have an annual turnover of less than €1 million - providing kick-start funding to those enterprises that do not have an entitlement to other business re-start grants.

Announcing details of the grant, Minister Humphreys said, “Whether it’s paying wages, fuel costs, purchasing PPE or signage – this is an important grant to assist the self-employed to reopen their business and get back doing what they do best: Providing crucial and essential services in their communities.

“So if you’re a plumber, carpenter, beautician, gardener or electrician who is transitioning back to work, or the taxi driver getting your car back on the road – this grant may be of interest to you.”

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