Minister Humphreys introduces new measure as part of COVID-19 Business Supports Package
The new Business Continuity Voucher is now available through Local Enterprise Offices and is open to sole traders and companies across every business sector that employ up to 50 people, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys T.D. has announced (March 25).
The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies and sole traders 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 remedial actions should be taken, to protect staff and sales.
Making the announcement, Minister Humphreys T.D. said: “I know this is still a very worrying time for all businesses. And as part of the package of supports that I announced earlier in the 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, to assist them with developing short-term and long-term strategies to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. “
She added, “The voucher will give companies access to contingency planning advice that will help them continue trading through this crisis and to be ready for the recovery phase, when it comes. This voucher will also assist enterprises to prepare a business case for application to emergency financial interventions that are available through the Banks, the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland or through Microfinance Ireland”.
Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Waterford, welcomed the new support package. “This is a critical time for small businesses. While businesses are, understandably, caught up in the here and now, this scheme will support companies to make sound, informed decisions on the immediate measures needed to continue to trade in this challenging environment and develop a strategy to assure future business viability.”
“Amongst other things, the Business Continuity Voucher will also include measures such as preparing a business case for application to emergency funding, reducing costs, implementing remote working procedures and exploring supply chain financing options. I would urge small business in Waterford, regardless of their industry or sector, to apply for this voucher. Local Enterprise Office Waterford will work with all businesses to provide practical and pragmatic contingency planning advice.”
The scheme is open to all types of businesses that employ up to 50 people. To apply, companies or sole traders fill out a short application form and submit it directly to Local Enterprise Office Waterford. When a company is issued with a voucher for third party consultancy, they begin working directly with a qualified expert, selected from existing Local Enterprise Office and Enterprise Ireland panels.
To apply for the Business Continuity Voucher, companies submit a short application form to their Local Enterprise Office. 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/
For further information:
B2B Communications, 086 2300700
About the Business Continuity Voucher (through Local Enterprise Offices)
Sole traders and businesses*, employing up to 50 staff, are eligible to apply for a Business Continuity Voucher to the value of €2,500 towards third party consultancy costs to assist with developing short-term and long-term strategies to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the voucher is to provide contingency planning advice to assist enterprises to continue trading through the crisis.
The primary aim of the scheme will be to support companies make informed decisions on the immediate measures needed to continue trading in the current environment while securing the safety of all employees and future business viability through identification of remedial actions.
The Business Continuity Voucher is available to support businesses:
i. Develop a business continuity plan
ii. Assess current financial needs in the short term to medium term
iii. Reduce variable costs, overheads and expenses,
iv. Review and explore supply chain financing options
v. Implement remote working processes or procedures
vi. Leverage HR expertise
vii. Leverage ICT expertise
viii. Prepare a business case for application to emergency financial interventions available through Banks, SBCI (Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland) and Microfinance Ireland.
Application forms are available from www.LocalEnterprise.ie/Response and completed forms are submitted to the relevant Local Enterprise Office by e-mail.
Please note: The Business Continuity Voucher is available to all businesses employing up to 50 across all sectors. The applicant must be an Irish-owned enterprise with up to 50 employees. An application must be submitted in the name of a company registered with the Companies Registration Office and incorporated in the Republic of Ireland at the time of application. Applications will also be accepted from Sole Traders and Partnerships.