Anomaly in Restart Grants needs to be urgently addressed
The Tánaiste needs to instruct his officials to urgently address an anomaly with the Restart grant according to Kildare South based Labour Senator, Mark Wall.
Senator Wall said:
“I have been contacted by several angry business owners in Kildare who did not apply for the initial Restart grant before the scheme was abruptly terminated last week even though it was due to run until the end of August.
“These businesses are now in the process of applying for the Restart plus grant and they have been now been made aware that businesses who have received funding under the Restart grant will now benefit again and receive further funding under the Restart plus grant.
“This is an anomaly with the Restart grant that the Tánaiste needs to instruct his officials to address to ensure that those who did not get around to applying for the first round of Restart grants before the scheme was abruptly terminated do not lose out, especially businesses who may be in financial difficulty as a result of the localised restrictions in Kildare, Laois and Offaly.
“Minister Sean Fleming is on the record saying that businesses in Kildare, Laois and Offaly should get additional funding due to the impact of the localised restrictions and I would like to support his call and to urge on the Government to inform the three local authorities about that funding as soon as possible. This additional funding should be incorporated as part of the Restart plus grant rather than creating a third stream of funding with all the necessary red tape. If the funding was included as part of Restart plus, then local authorities would be able to release this vital funding as soon as possible.
“The Department also need to look into how this scheme was communicated as in certain counties businesses did not know they were eligible for this funding and the take up was in the region of only 50%. The Tánaiste needs to instruct every local authority in the country to write to all their rate payers outlining the grants and schemes they may be eligible for.
“Covid-19 has been crippling for small business who are the backbone of our communities and it is incumbent upon the Tánaiste and his Department to iron out this anomaly and ensure that small businesses do not lose out on funding while others benefit twice.