Clare County County and Clare Tourism acknowledge that these are extraordinarily difficult and challenging times for the Tourism Industry in Clare, and right across the world. In partnership with the tourism trade and agencies, we will work through these challenges and, when it is safe to travel, we will be active within collaborative initiatives to help bring about tourism’s recovery within the County. We have launched a new ‘Let’s Share Clare with the World’ initiative to remind those who cannot travel right now, that the welcome is just on hold. Below is a range of information you may find useful, together with links to more information where appropriate.
Currently, Fáilte Ireland is working with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport to put in place a package of supports for the industry. Fáilte Ireland has created a special section on their website to provide industry advice on Covid 19 at this link.
Fáilte Ireland has created an Industry FAQ’s PDF document you can download it here.
For detailed instructions on operational guidelines within the industry click here.
Support Hub: Managing a business in unprecedented times. In response to the COVID-19 crisis and the impact it is having on the tourism sector, we are targeting our business supports to respond to the most urgent challenges and threats tourism businesses are now facing. All of these supports can be accessed here.
There will be regular bulletins on consumer sentiment and behaviour, industry insights, and the international impact of COVID-19. This information will be collated from our ongoing engagement with the COVID-19 Tourism Industry Advisory Group and uploaded here regularly, click here.
We urge all businesses to read the guidelines and information set out by the HSE on how you can protect yourself and others, click here.
The Department of Health has developed public health information posters and social distancing graphics to display on your premises.
More posters, leaflets and social media assets are available on HSE posters and resources.
MicroFinance Ireland loans are being promoted as a key support for micro-enterprises. Important changes are being made to the MicroFinance Ireland supports for microenterprises. The maximum loan available from MicroFinance Ireland will be increased from €25,000 to €50,000 as an immediate measure to specifically deal with the impacts of COVID – 19 on micro-enterprises (sole traders and firms with up to 10 employees). Applications can be made through the MFI website at www.MicroFinanceIreland.ie or through the local LEO. Loans are repayable over 3 years.
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation announced a number of supports for businesses facing challenges being presented by the current Covid-19 situation. The Credit Guarantee Scheme is in place and available now to SMEs subject to the relevant terms and conditions. Separately the SBCI is currently working to finalise the terms and conditions of the SBCI COVID19 Working Capital Scheme and the eligibility application process for this. The SBCI website will be updated as soon as these are finalised, click here.
The new Business Continuity Voucher, available through Local Enterprise Offices, is designed for businesses across every sector that employs up to 50 people. The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The goal is to help companies make informed decisions about what immediate measures and remedial actions should be taken, to protect staff and sales. If your application is successful, a qualified expert will be selected by your Local Enterprise Office to work with you on your business continuity plans. The value of this service is up to a maximum of €2,500. There is a nationwide fund for this voucher which will be allocated on a first-come basis, it is important to start this process as soon as possible.
Here is the step by step process for applying for this voucher:
Step One: To apply for a Business Continuity Voucher, please DOWNLOAD the application form and SAVE IT to your desktop, laptop or tablet computer.
For the PDF version, please open the application form using Adobe Acrobat or an equivalent PDF reader.
Step Two; Please type your answers into the spaces provided and remember to SAVE any changes you make. When completed, please E-MAIL your application form directly to your Local Enterprise Office, as an attachment to your e-mail. Every Local Enterprise Office has its own e-mail address and you’ll find these addresses here
Step Three; Your Local Enterprise Office will acknowledge your e-mail. After an assessment has taken place, they will let you know if your application has been successful.
If you’d like to discuss your application with your Local Enterprise Office at any stage, you’ll find their telephone number and e-mail address here.
Here is the link to the page on the website, click here.
Covid-19 Working Capital Loan Scheme
The scheme is open for Eligibility Applications from the 23rd of March 2020, with the AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank opening for credit applications when eligibility letters are issued. Full details of the Covid-19 Working Capital Loan Scheme are available here.
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
If you are self-employed and your business has reduced significantly or closed, you can apply for Jobseeker’s Benefit (Self-Employed).
Get all the details on how you can apply for Jobseeker’s Payments here:
If you have concerns about your ability to pay your tax liabilities speak to the Revenue Commissioners, who have advised:
“On an on-going basis, Revenue engages with viable businesses experiencing temporary cash flow or trading difficulties that affect the timely payment of tax. Revenue works very successfully with businesses that engage early to resolve their tax payment difficulties. Revenue will engage with any viable business that experiences temporary cashflow difficulties, including difficulties arising from exceptional circumstances such as the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.” See www.revenue.ie.
Revenue has also posted advice for businesses experiencing trading difficulties as a result of COVID-19. This includes information on tax returns, the application of late payment interest, debt enforcement, tax clearance, customs and is available to view here.
Support for businesses impacted by COVID 19 through commercial rates deferral
Any commercial ratepayers that have had to temporarily close or significantly curtail operations during the COVID-19 response period should contact their local authority immediately in relation to any rates payments falling due in the period to end-May. Find out more information here.
Local Enterprise Office
At the present moment, you are probably confused, overwhelmed and unsure what to do next. Your local LEO has a variety of online training courses that may be of help. The courses are free of charge and book up quickly so get booked in as soon as you can.
Here is a sample of what is available in the coming weeks, just click on the link below to find more information on the course and to book a place.
Here is a link to the website which is being updated regularly, so it’s worth logging on to see what courses might suit your business, click here.