Cavan-Monaghan TD Pauline Tully has said that the government and local authorities should be seeking out small businesses and encouraging them to apply to the Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID (SBASC).
The scheme closes next month, and data provided to Sinn Féin shows that only 3,079 grants have been applied for to date in total, with only 31 applications in Cavan.
Teachta Tully said:
“The Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID (SBASC) was established to provide much-needed funding to many businesses who had been excluded from other government schemes such as the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), the Music and Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme (MEBAS), the Fáilte Ireland Business Continuity grant, and other direct sectoral grant schemes.
“The SBASC scheme provided grants of €4,000 to businesses working from non-rateable premises and €1,000 to businesses with a turnover between €20,000 and €49,999. While it was a small scheme, it was much-needed and appreciated by small businesses.
“However, data provided to Sinn Féin by the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment has revealed that only 3,079 grant applications have been made to date in total, with only 31 applications in Cavan.
“To date, just over €12 million in grants have been applied for despite the scheme being due to close in less than a month.
“With such a low level of applications, it is clear that the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, the government and local authorities need to seek out and encourage applications from small businesses for the SBASC scheme.
“Given the closing date for the scheme is July 21, the government must work to ensure as many small businesses as possible know about the scheme and submit grant applications.”