Midlands bailout is too little too late for struggling businesses
14 August 2020
Spokesperson on Education, Enterprise and Trade
The package of supports to be announced by the Government in Kildare, Laois and Offaly will be too little too late for struggling businesses in the region according to Labour Enterprise Spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin.
Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:
“The package of supports to be announced today are insufficient. A once off additional payment of between €800 and €5,000 will not make a scintilla of difference for struggling businesses in Kildare, Laois and Offaly who have had to close for a second time due to no fault of their own. The Government should have made at least €10,000 available to businesses in the three counties with additional funding available if needed.
“A 20% top-up to the restart plus grant is futile unless the Tánaiste addresses the anomaly with the grant whereby businesses who availed of the initial restart grant will benefit from funding twice and those that did not get around to applying before the scheme was abruptly terminated will lose out on the initial restart funding.
“The Government need to go a lot further in supporting businesses in the Midlands. They should extend the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme for the three counties beyond the end of August and introduce staycation vouchers to support local bars and restaurants.
“The Tánaiste should have prioritised announcing supports for the Midlands last Friday and not a week into the localised lockdown. Businesses in Kildare, Laois and Offaly are at breaking point and the additional restrictions will mean some will be unable to reopen. The Government should have stepped in immediately last Friday with a substantial package of supports for affected businesses.
“Today’s announcement will unfortunately be too little too late for many struggling businesses who will require a lot more than a maximum of €5,000 to keep afloat, the Government should have also announced supports for affected business as soon as the restrictions were introduced.