The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, outlined that Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) payments of over €400m have been made by the Revenue Commissioners to businesses since the inception of the Scheme, which was announced and came into effect on Budget Day, 13th October 2020.
Approximately €260m of this has been paid in the first quarter of 2021 with in excess of 20,000 businesses benefiting from the scheme to date.
Noting these payments, Minister Donohoe. said: ‘I welcome the fact that the Revenue Commissioners have been able to get such a large amount of support –almost €410 million -to 21,600 businesses who have registered in respect of 23,900 premises throughout Ireland at the time that they need it most. I have previously committed that there will be no cliff-edge to supports and both the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) and the CRSS are now to be extended until the end of June 2021. This will ensure some degree of certainty for businesses as we lay the foundations for the full recovery of social life, public services and the economy in the month ahead’.
The Minister added: ‘Consideration is being given to the fact that continued support could be necessary out to the end of 2021 to help maintain viable businesses and employment and to provide businesses with certainty to the maximum extent possible. Decisions on the form of such support will take account of emerging circumstances and economic conditions as they become clearer. The Government remains fully committed to supporting businesses, employers and workers insofar as is possible at this time’.The CRSS provides targeted support for businesses directly impacted by public health restrictions with the result that they have had to temporarily close or significantly restrict access to their premises.
The support is available to companies and self-employed individuals who carry on a trade or trading activities from a business premises located in a region subject to restrictions, introduced in line with the Living with Covid-19 Plan, with the result that the business is required to prohibit or considerably restrict customers from accessing their business premises and as a result, is operating at less than 25% of turnover in 2019.
Generally, this refers to Covid restrictions at Level 3, 4 or 5 of the Government’s Plan for Living with Covid-19 but certain businesses may qualify for the support where lower levels of restrictions are in operation. The amount paid is 10% of the average weekly turnover of the business in 2019 up to €20,000, plus 5% on turnover over €20,000 subject to a weekly cap of €5,000.