Reopening businesses can claim ‘restart week’ payment
Measure reflects costs incurred as restrictions are lifted, says Minister for Finance
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe arriving at the Department of Finance earlier this month. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times
Businesses can claim for an additional “restart week” payment to help them reopen as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has announced.
The measure represents an enhancement to the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), with the extra week provided for through an amendment to Section 11 of the Finance Bill. It will be paid to businesses the week after restrictions are lifted.
The Department of Finance said this was designed to take account of the fact that businesses may take some time and incur additional costs as they reopen once the restrictions are lifted.
The additional week will become payable if the restrictions are in place for three weeks or more and can be claimed at the end of the restriction period.
The CRSS is a targeted support for businesses significantly impacted by restrictions introduced by the Government under public health regulations to combat the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The qualifying business or self-employed person must first register for CRSS on the Revenue Online Service (ROS) and then complete a claim in respect of a claim period, or more than one period if applicable.
The Revenue has been accepting registrations for the scheme since November 1st and the claims process is open since November 17th, with more than €45.5 million in payments already issued.
To qualify under the scheme, a business or self-employed person must be able to demonstrate that as a result of Covid-19 restrictions its turnover in the period is no more than 25 per cent of its usual level.
The cash payment, which takes the form of an advance credit for trading expenses, is equal to 10 per cent of the first €20,000 of average weekly turnover in 2019 and 5 per cent thereafter, subject to a maximum weekly payment of €5,000.
“We understand the difficulties businesses and individuals are facing and the Government remains committed to timely and targeted supports,” Mr Donohoe said.
“The CRSS is just one part of the Government’s supports, which also include the wage subsidy schemes and temporary reduction in the VAT rate. Specific sectoral schemes are also being rolled out which will support many businesses who may not qualify for CRSS,” he said.
“This will provide much needed funds to assist businesses in getting the doors back open so that they can do what they do best and begin trading again.”