COVID-19 Business Supports

Limerick City and County Council recognises the financial pressures being experienced during this crisis period and encourages any ratepayers experiencing difficulties in paying their commercial rates to get in contact.

Limerick City and County Council Supports

The Council is dealing with difficulties experienced by ratepayers on a case by case basis, as the impact is not uniform.

In particular, businesses such as those in the hospitality sector, small and medium retailers, and children’s play centres have been identified as ones that could be adversely affected initially.

The Council will also suspend the issuing of all legal proceedings during this period.

While the identified types of businesses may be most impacted initially, Limerick City and County Council is also cognisant that in a prolonged Covid-19 situation, the categories of ratepayers experiencing difficulties may change.

Income from commercial rates makes up approximately one third of Limerick City and County Council’s budget per annum and is critical for the continuing operations of services, such as Fire and Emergency Services, Flooding Emergency Responses, Street Cleaning and other key services.

As these circumstances are unprecedented the Council will continue to monitor the situation on a day to day basis. Senior Management have been meeting on a daily basis since the coronavirus was first confirmed in Ireland and will continue to do so until the government and health experts say it is safe to resume our ‘new normal’ life.

The Council also offers supports to the Small and Medium Business Sector and Tourism Sector and the qualifying criteria have been amended as a result of the current situation.

Small and Medium Business Support Scheme

The rebate will be paid as a financial support to occupiers of commercial properties with total annual commercial rates bills of up to and including €25,000 in 2020.

The support payment, aimed specifically at small and medium-sized enterprises, is set at 9% of the annual cost of commercial rates for the rated occupier, up to a maximum of €1,000.

In light of the current circumstances, the Council will be extending the date to qualify for this rebate.

Tourism Sector Support Scheme

The Tourism Sector Support Scheme will pay a financial support to occupiers of commercial properties where commercial rates liability is greater than €25,000 and directly linked to the Tourism and Hospitality Sector.

The property types that qualify for the scheme include Hotels, Licensed Premises, Restaurants/ Cafes and Hostels.

The support grant payment aimed specifically at the Tourism Sector is 4% of the total Rates, including arrears, for 2020.

In light of the current circumstances, the Council will be extending the date to qualify for this rebate.

For more information about the support schemes or to discuss payment arrangements, business owners are asked to contact their Revenue Collector or rates@limerick.ie or 061 556360.

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Local Enterprise Office Limerick Supports

Businesses across Limerick City and County are currently in unchartered waters due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Many are facing critical challenges, including temporary ceasing of trading, cash flow and financial difficulties, critical staff continuity options and an uncertain future.

The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Limerick is there to support local businesses in addressing these challenges and help ensure they are in the strongest position possible in the face of this unprecedented and continuously evolving crisis.

The expert staff at LEO Limerick are there to advise and support any small business experiencing difficulties at this time. Business Advisors will offer a discreet one-to-one discussion by phone or other means to suit the business owner.

Among the supports which can be accessed through LEO Limerick are cash flow supports and supports from Enterprise Ireland.

The MicroFinance Ireland Loan, where the maximum amount has doubled to €50,000 as an immediate measure to deal with the impact on micro-enterprises and can be processed through LEO. Those experiencing cash flow difficulties need to open communication with their own bank also. All banks have announced they will offer flexibility to customers experiencing difficulties as a result of the Covid-19 virus and may be able to provide loan payment holidays or emergency working capital facilities.

Businesses may also be eligible for a Business Continuity Voucher through LEO Limerick. The initiative will provide advisory specialists in fields such as finance and HR to help develop a lean, robust business strategy as enterprises face an extended period of great uncertainty.

Many other sources of funding supports, employment assistance and other government supports can be viewed on their website, which is updated continually as the situation develops. Visit localenterprise.ie/limerick.

Business owners may now have time to explore new options for their business, take their business online or indeed develop new and innovative products or services for the future. LEO Limerick will work with you and support with advice, guidance and there are various forms of Financial Assistance available.

To discuss with a Business Advisor contact the LEO Office at 061 557499.

This is very stressful time for small business owners and especially for employers, so we would like to remind people to mind their mental as well as physical health, and to contact us at LEO Limerick and share the burden of making choices and decision making for their business at this difficult time.

LEO Limerick is a first stop shop to provide support and services to help start, grow and develop micro and small businesses.

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