Covid crisis: 2,200 firms register for financial supports

Businesses can apply for Government grants of up to €5,000 a week under new scheme

Some 2,200 companies have registered for the Government's new business support scheme, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said .

Under the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), announced in the budget, businesses hit by the current restrictions can apply for grants of up to €5,000 a week.

As the Finance Bill, which gives legal effect to the scheme and other measures announced in the budget, passed through second stage in the Dáil, Mr Donohoe confirmed that there were 2,200 registrations for the CRSS as of lunchtime on Wednesday.

This was up from 700 only a few days ago.


The relief, which will run from October 13th to March 31st, is expected to cost €80 million a week under Level 5 restrictions.

Addressing the Dáil, Mr Donohoe said economic conditions had changed since the budget. The onset of tougher restrictions has triggered another uptick in unemployment, which was put at 20 per cent in October, while the latest exchequer returns pointed to a weakening of corporation tax receipts.

“When the budget was announced three weeks ago, I said that there was no such thing as certainty in the current circumstances and that we must recognise the risks and ongoing challenges,” he said.

“I think that it is fair to say that events in those three weeks have shown that pandemic-related uncertainty will be with us for some time to come,” he said.

“The pandemic has proven to be enduring and we will be living with its effects for some time to come,” Mr Donohoe added.

Position of strength

He said that despite the recent setbacks, the Republic had confronted the pandemic from a position of fiscal and economic strength.

As well as the CRSS, the Government was providing support through changes to in the taxation system and through the key schemes to protect households, businesses and jobs, namely the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme.

He said that, as of November 3rd, 40,800 employers have registered for the subsidy scheme while 330,000 individuals were in receipt of the unemployment payment.

At of the end of September, some 70,000 businesses had availed of tax debt warehousing, with payment of €2.1 billion in taxes owed being deferred, he said.

“These policies have been an essential lifeline for businesses, families and individuals to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the livelihoods of our citizens,” said the Minister.

“As I said in my budget speech, the health of the country and the health of the economy are interdependent and the better our public health, the stronger our economic health,” he added.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times