Donegal businesses urged to apply for Restart Grant

Over €3.4m has already been paid out by Donegal County Council

Donegal businesses urged to apply for Restart Grant

Scheme offers direct grant aid to small businesses

Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Rena Donaghey, has this week
called on businesses in Donegal to apply for the Restart Grant from Donegal
County Council.

“To date, 1,600 businesses have applied for the business Restart Grant in
Donegal and over €3.4m has already been paid out by the council with
remaining applications currently being processed.

"I am delighted to see these businesses apply for this grant but I am keen to
highlight that the scheme is still open until August 31 and I would urge all
eligible businesses in Donegal to apply for this grant which I know has been a
lifeline for many businesses who have incurred so many additional costs to
simply comply with the public health requirements from Covid-19.

We have over 5,000 commercial ratepayers in Donegal so there are more
businesses that are eligible to apply and I strongly urge them to do so,” she said.

This scheme offers direct grant aid to small businesses to help towards the costs
associated with reopening or remaining open and re-employing workers
following the Covid-19 restrictions.

To be eligible applicants must be a commercially rateable business and have an
annual turnover of less than €5 million and have 50 or less employees; have
suffered a projected 25 per cent loss in turnover from April 1 to the end of June;
commit to remain open or to reopen if closed, and declare the intention to retain
employees currently on the temporary wage subsidy scheme.

The grant aid payable is based on the equivalent to the rates bill of the business
in 2019, with a minimum payment of €2,000 and a maximum payment of
€10,000.

Speaking at Monday’s council meeting in Letterkenny the Cathaoirleach also
acknowledged the proactive approach taken by Donegal County Council in
supporting businesses during this very difficult time and referred to the role of
the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in supporting businesses during the Covid-19
lockdown with almost 600 approvals under the Business Continuity Vouchers
and 189 approvals under the Trading Online Vouchers.

In addition, 110 businesses received mentoring support from LEO over this
period as well as a range of online webinars targeting various sectors and
covering a range of issues.

The Radisson Hotel in Letterkenny was one such business that availed of
various supports and Paul Byrne, managing director, believes that these supports
helped to significantly ease the challenges in reopening the hotel.

“We were delighted to receive the Donegal County Council Restart Grant. The
grant scheme provided a prompt, much-needed cash boost after months of
the closure which was crucial to kick start the business, reemploy our workforce
and implement a range of necessary measures to ensure the highest standards of
health and safety throughout the hotel.

"I would encourage all Donegal businesses to avail of the range of government
supports available which can really help to alleviate the pressure during the
reopening phase.”

Christopher Molloy, co-owner and chef of the Lemon Tree Restaurant in
Letterkenny also availed of the Restart Grant Scheme. He said it was a crucial
support towards the cost of building business adaptability and resilience in
response to the challenges of Covid-19.

“We were delighted to receive the Donegal County Council Restart Grant which
enabled us to hit the ground running with new equipment and e-commerce
services, providing a much-needed cash flow injection within a short space of
time.

"We were able to quickly introduce a new web-based click and collect service, a
new on-street street food style hatch and outdoor dining. We were also able to
introduce an innovative new ordering system which allows customers to access
menus via a QR code from the table, minimizing contact.

"The Restart Grant enabled the business to innovate and adapt quickly, building
greater resilience in response to the Covid-19 challenges and the application
process was relatively straightforward.”

Applications can be made online at:

https://restartgrant.donegalcoco.ie/RESTART.aspx and the closing date for
receipt of applications is August 31.

Further information can be obtained by emailing restartgrant@donegalcoco.ie
and FAQs can be viewed at http://www.donegalcoco.ie/restartgrantscheme/

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email editorial@donegaldemocrat.ie To contact Donegal Post, email editor@donegalpost.com To contact Inish Times, email editor@inishtimes.com.

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.