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For Written Answer on : 18/01/2024
Question Number(s): 175 Question Reference(s): 2142/24
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
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QUESTION


To ask the Minister for Enterprise; Trade and Employment the way the increased cost of business grant will be implemented; when he expects first payments to be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY


The Increased Cost of Business (ICOB) grant was announced as part of the Budget 2024 package and will be particularly targeted at Small and Medium sized businesses who operate from a rateable premises. Firms who do not have a rateable premises are not within the scope of this scheme. The total allocation for the ICOB grant is €257m.

Officials in my Department are currently working with the Local Authorities on the administration of the Increased Cost of Business grant to ensure that support can be provided in early 2024.

It will be administered by Local Authorities and it is intended that the grant will be provided to qualifying premises in the first quarter of this year. It is not intended that there be a formal application process, rather it is intended that the business will be contacted directly by the local authorities.

The administration of the Increased Cost of Business Grant (ICOB) will be undertaken in accordance with a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the Local Authorities to underpin the operation of this scheme. This SLA will cover the delivery, funding and oversight arrangements for the grant scheme. The details of this SLA are currently being progressed with the Local Authorities.

To ensure that the smallest firms see the greatest benefit, the grant will be paid at a rate of half the enterprise’s 2023 commercial rates bill, for firms paying up to €10,000 in rates. For those paying between €10,000 and €30,000 in rates, they will receive a grant of €5,000. This further ensures that smaller premises receive a higher proportional grant.

Eligibility for the ICOB grant will be assessed on the basis of an applicant satisfying a minimum of the below conditions:

  • The business is a commercially trading business operating directly within a premises that is commercially rateable by a Local Authority.
  • The business has provided confirmation of its bank details to the respective Local Authority.
  • The business is rates compliant, including those businesses with a phased payment arrangement in-place.
  • The business is tax compliant, and in possession of a valid Tax Registration Number.