For Oral Answer on : 15/09/2021
Question Number(s): 136 Question Reference(s): 43382/21
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise; Trade and Employment the progress being made by his Department in providing supports to businesses under the Sustaining Enterprise and Accelerated Recovery Fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Covid-19 outbreak resulted in a serious downturn in the Irish, EU and wider global economy. In response to this, Government introduced measures to assist impacted business. With the assistance of these measures, in 2020, a large number of Covid-19 impacted companies were sustained.
Now, as we cautiously emerge from these necessary public health restrictions and global markets begin to open up again, the Government will continue to help businesses in their next phase of recovery and adaptation.
In August 2021, I announced the launch of €51 million in funding, under the new Sustaining Enterprise and Accelerated Recovery Fund. This fund has two objectives, the first is to sustain enterprise through the provision of liquidity measures thereby assisting companies whose end markets continue to be impacted by Covid-19 restrictions. This offer is an extension of the Sustaining Enterprise Fund or SEF which was administered by our Agency, Enterprise Ireland (EI), on behalf of Government in 2020 and during the first half of 2021 and reflects the recovery needs of business as public health restrictions are lifted and business reopens. Under the SEF, €188 million was approved to 700 companies helping maintain over 28,850 jobs.
The second objective of the fund is to assist companies to make an Accelerated Recovery plan which embraces both digital and climate change transformation which is in line with Government policy and essential for the economic activity of companies after the impact of Covid -19. This is further aided by a Digitalisation Voucher to assist the development of a digitalisation plan.
My Department, working with Enterprise Ireland, is currently promoting this new offer and is working with companies on funding applications. As this offer has only been live for one month, the application pipeline is just commencing. To date, there have been seven approvals totaling €129,000 made to companies under this Fund. Six approvals are for Digitalisation Vouchers while one approval is for the Sustaining Enterprise Fund.