Project restart - A new beginning


By Simone Caron


Project restart - It means businesses can resume operation however, the way businesses operate under the restriction of COVID19 has fundamentally changed. The government has released a phase-by-phase plan to slowly lift the restrictions put in place.

Phase 1, began on the 18th of March beginning with outdoor workers, essential retailers and public outdoor tourist grounds. Retail shops essential to businesses that are opening and were previously open in Tier 2 (for example: homeware, opticians, motor, bicycle and repair, office products, electrical, IT, phone sales and repair) were also able to open. Taoiseach announced the five phase plan on Friday 01 May 2020 for reopening of society and business by date subject to Public Health guidance from NPEHT. You can view the article HERE.

Although this is good news for business owners, the isolation period has completely severed their business’ cash flow for two months. There are options available to business owners to assist in surviving the  pandemic and various banks have announced specific options and flexibilities available for businesses as well as advisory support from your Local Enterprise Office (LEO). There have been a number of government and private support long term schemes aimed at helping businesses to  keep their doors open and get back on track.

The government has rolled out the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS), asking businesses to continue playing their employees on the company payroll throughout the  pandemic. A separate  income support scheme Income Support Scheme has also been launched to assist employees who have not been paid through their company or have been retrenched allowing people to  receive for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 a week. Businesses are able to apply for TWSS if they have lost a minimum of 25% of turnover due to the  COVID-19 pandemic. Employers will have to supply Revenue records confirming this but is available for employers who keep staff on their payroll during the pandemic.

The government also rolled out a number of plans in an attempt to reduce business’ operating costs. Commercial rates were waived for a 3 month period beginning on 27 March for businesses that were forced to close due to public health requirements. Annual returns are due to be filed only by the 30th of June to allow businesses to focus on the more pressing and immediate financial challenges and cash flow. This will be under review with the possibility of an extension depending on the situation at the time. COVID-19 related VAT and payroll tax debts, due from 1 March 2020 to the date when sectoral restrictions are lifted, will be on hold for 12 months and no debt enforcement action will be taken by revenue and no interest chargees will accrue for warehoused debit.

A variety of cash flow supports have been put in place for businesses by government schemes as well as banks with minimal to zero  interest.

With all these measures in place, we still need to ask- Is this enough to protect businesses and minimize the effect of the pandemic on the economy as a whole? An interesting topic discussed by an Irish economist who looks at the idea: “money should be printed and put into the accounts of the public and businesses in a bid to boost consumer spending and combat deflationary shock.” David Mc Williams explains that for people to spend the free money - they have to believe the government has created the funds and that this will not result in a huge tax increase. However, the  Irish minister for finance, Paschal Donohoe, disagreed with this sentiment and said: "I think there are far better ways in which we can get our economy to recover.” Donohoe explains that this policy implies all people will be given the same funding however, the manner in which the government helps those who have lost their jobs will differ from those who were able to keep their jobs. In this way, he suggested the European union would consider a similar approach in a conservative manner. As it is impossible to predict the long term effects of the pandemic and how quickly  the economy will be able to recover, many options are still under review.

When you need assistance in managing your cash flow, Stubbs Gazette steps in while you focus on getting your business’ operation running safely, complying to COVID19 safety standards. If your business is still restricted, Use this quiet period to your advantage. Carry out your due diligence checks. Our national and international PEP/AML/Sanctions Databases, our Local Knowledge Experts, research and reference local sources produce accurate, high quality results.

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