The new Business Continuity Voucher is now available through Local Enterprise Office Donegal and is open to sole traders and companies across every business sector locally that employ up to 50 people, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys T.D. has announced.
The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies and sole traders in Donegal to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The goal is to help business owners make informed decisions about what immediate measures and actions should be taken to protect staff and sales.
Making the announcement, Minister Humphreys T.D. said: “I know that this is a very worrying time for businesses. As part of the package of supports that I announced earlier this month, I am making a €2,500 voucher available through the Local Enterprise Offices to enable enterprises to avail of vital business continuity advice. This will assist them to develop strategies to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak in both the short-term and long-term. “
She added: “The voucher will give companies access to contingency planning advice that will help them to continue trading through this crisis and to be ready for the recovery phase, when it comes. It will also help firms to prepare a business case so that they can apply for emergency financial interventions through the banks, the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland or Microfinance Ireland”.
The scheme is open to all types of businesses, across all industries and sectors that employ up to 50 people. To apply, companies or sole traders fill out a short application form and submit it directly to Local Enterprise Office Donegal by e-mail. When a company is issued with a voucher for third party consultancy, they begin working directly with a qualified expert, selected from existing Local Enterprise Office and Enterprise Ireland panels. Head of Enterprise, Michael Tunney welcomed the launch of the new support, saying: “For a huge number of small businesses, survival is the overriding objective at this time so making the right decisions is crucial. This is where the new Business Continuity Voucher can help.”
He added: “We have been making contact with clients and responding to a range of enquiries from businesses over the last few weeks in relation to the challenges which businesses are currently facing because of this virus. Up until now we have been providing free mentoring/consultancy to businesses to address these challenges. The kind of areas that the voucher will help will vary, depending on the needs of each business, but it will include very important measures such as developing a business continuity plan, reducing variable costs, reviewing and exploring supply chain financing options, implementing remote working processes or procedures, leveraging expertise in HR Finance and ICT and preparing a business case for application to emergency funding. We will also continue to make our mentoring available to businesses across the county.”
Mr. Seamus Neely, Chief Executive, Donegal County Council commented: “We welcome this additional support to businesses at this difficult time. Donegal County Council and the Local Enterprise Office will continue to work to support and maintain our businesses which are essential for the sustainability of the county and our communities. I would urge as many businesses as possible to avail of this and the other supports currently available through the Local Enterprise Office, Enterprise Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta”. Applications can be made directly online at https://submit.link/aNzG0
Details of other business supports available from the Department of Enterprise, Business and Innovation can be found at https://dbei.gov.ie/en/
For further information, please contact Local Enterprise Office Donegal at 074 9160735
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