Issues arise with State’s Covid support schemes for business

Seen and Heard: Quintain agrees €100m loan facility as Facebook says no to law firm’s ads

Thousands of companies that believed they would be able to avail of the new Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) have learned they will not qualify, the Sunday Independent reports. The support is intended for businesses that cannot operate during the lockdown but only applies to those whose premises remain closed, meaning many shops, hotels and hospitality businesses will lose out on weekly payments of up to €5,000.


The Sunday Independent also says about 800 employers who availed of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) either withdrew from the scheme or were seeking to do so before Revenue published its list of recipients last week. It says some employers were concerned about reputational damage by being included on the list. Those employers who received just one payment, or a total subsidy of less than €410 were not among the 65,074 named.


Staying with State Covid supports, the €2 billion flagship loan guarantee scheme aimed at helping small firms through the pandemic has only approved €43 million in cash so far. To date, some 743 loans have been approved by banks out of 1,376 applications. However, some 2,000 applications are now being processed, the Business Post reports.


The Business Post says the Government is considering whether to subsidise some key air routes such as flights to London to ensure continued connectivity. It is looking at supporting such routes through a public service obligation (PSO) such as those in place for domestic flights to Donegal and Kerry.



According to the Business Post, businesses providing rapid Covid-19 checks have called on the Government to develop a nationwide testing regime ahead of Christmas. This is despite the fact that some medical experts are unsure about the effectiveness of some of these tests. Some test companies, claim they could d match the government’s testing capacity within weeks, providing a private market for a quick turnaround in tests at airports and other locations.


The Sunday Times reports that Facebook has refused ads from Dublin law firm Coleman Legal aimed at encouraging content moderators to join a legal action against the social media giant. Ads placed by the firm earlier in August were rejected due to a "personal attribute policy violation". It has since asked Facebook to reverse its decision to disallow its campaign but received no response.


Residential developer Quintain Ireland has agreed a €100 million loan facility from Activate Capital for residential developments at Adamstown and Portmarnock, according to the Times. It says Quintain plans to develop 9,000 new homes and 56,000sq m of commercial space in the greater Dublin area. The developer has delivered nearly 1,000 new homes in Adamstown and Portmarnock to date with a further 2,000 units at various stages of the planning process.


Staying with property, the paper says Kennedy Wilson more than doubled its money on the sale of Bank of Ireland’s headquarters on Baggot Street for $165 million. It gained $85 million from the sale to Deka Immobilien.


The Sunday Times also reports on French care group Emera, which it says has taken a majority stake in Irish nursing homes operator Virtue for an undisclosed sum. Emera has more than 6,500 nursing home beds across seven countries. Virtue operates four nursing homes locally and is in talks to acquire three more.