David M. Breen & Co. Tips during COVID-19 Emergency Period.
- Review all outgoings with a view to minimising or eliminating each overhead.
- Consider or review use of the Wages Subsidy Scheme. If refund not received within two days, follow up immediately as application may not be processed correctly.
- If your Business is currently closed, the Wages Subsidy scheme might be useful to help you when you re-open.
- Stay in contact with your customers via social media or other channels.
- Contact your Bank and avail of repayment holidays where appropriate.
- Try avoid incurring debt at this stage, retain resources for scaling up when restrictions are eased.
- Try get your Business at cash neutral for the next three months or as close as possible to Cash neutral.
- Look forward and consider how your Business will operate post COVID-19 and plan for same with a view to business efficiency and the health and safety of your workforce / customers.
- Explore business opportunities that may be available when consumers start to spend.
- Keep up to date with Supports which are changing all the time (See below).
- Take the time to observe and learn more about your business while it is operating at a slow pace.
Ring David or Caroline on 051-875222 if you wish to discuss the above in more detail.
Contact Details During Covid 19 Restrictions
Main Line 051-875222 is attended at all times
Direct Dial numbers:
Andrea 051 364382
Clair 051 364384
Kelsey 051 364379 (Payroll)
Vicky 051 364383
Banking and other financial supports
All banks announced that they will offer flexibility to their customers. They may be able to provide payment holidays or emergency working capital facilities where required. Please contact your account manager.
In addition, below are some of the government facilities are available:
Local Enterprise Office
- Business Continuity Voucher
The new Business Continuity Voucher, available through Local Enterprise Offices, is designed for businesses across every sector that employ 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.
- COVID-19 Business Loan
The COVID-19 Business Loan from Microfinance Ireland (MFI), in partnership with Local Enterprise Offices, is a Government-funded initiative to support small businesses through the current period of uncertainty.Business loans of up to €50,000, repayable over 3 years, 6 months interest free and repayment free moratorium and new low interest rate of 4.5%. – PDF
- Trading Online Voucher
Helps small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade more online, boost sales and reach new markets. There is up to €2,500 available through the Local Enterprise Offices with co-funding of 10% from the business.
Credit Guarantee Scheme
To help SMEs impacted by COVID-19 related issues, the Government has repurposed the Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) to provide counter guarantees to banks, mitigating credit risk and the need for collateral. This scheme supports loans from €10,000 up to €1m for periods up to 7 years to eligible SMEs.
Strategic Banking Corporation Ireland (SBCI)
- Working Capital Scheme
A €200m SBCI COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme is available for future working capital requirements or to fund the innovation, change or adaptation of the business to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Support will be available to Micro, SMEs and Small MidCap Enterprises that meet the criteria.
- Future Growth Loan Scheme
The SBCI Future Growth Loan Scheme was introduced in June 2019 and is available for long-term investment in machinery and equipment, research and development, business expansion, premises improvement, process innovation, and investment in people and/or systems. Support will be available to Micro, SMEs and Small MidCap Enterprises that meet the criteria.
MicroFinance Ireland has initiated business loans for micro-enterprises (turnover up to €2m and less than 10 full-time employees) who have been impacted by COVID-19 resulting in a reduction of 15% or more in actual or projected turnover/profit.
The Government has introduced a range of supports to help employers and employees navigate the economic fallout from COVID-19. Set out below are some of the current supports available and relevant links:
- Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme
- Guidance on the Operation of Temporary COVID Wage Subsidy Scheme
- Guidance on Employer Eligibility and Supporting Proofs for Temporary COVID-19 Wages Subsidy Scheme
- COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
- COVID-19 Illness Benefit
- Employees of businesses that need to reduce hours or days worked can avail of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Short-time Work Support scheme.
Redundancy: Employers should be vigilant in their understanding of the legal concerns under the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967 to 2014 and may need to seek professional legal advice in certain circumstances.
- Tax Returns
Businesses experiencing temporary cash flow difficulties should continue to send in tax returns on time.
- Application of Interest
The application of interest on late payments is suspended for January/February VAT and both February and March PAYE (Employers) liabilities.
- Debt Enforcement
All debt enforcement activity is suspended until further notice.
- Tax Clearance
Current tax clearance status will remain in place for all businesses over the coming months.
- Direct Debits
Check any direct debits in place with Revenue (e.g. VAT, payroll taxes, income tax, phased payment arrangements) and whether these can be altered / suspended / cancelled.
All Revenue’s telephone helplines will be closed for the period the measures are in place with the exception of the National Employer Helpline (01 7383638) which will continue to support employers with queries on the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme and the ROS Technical Helpdesk (01 7383699).
Enquiries and correspondence on any matter can be sent through My Enquiries.
Tax Relief on Home Expenses
Employees working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic may be entitled to tax relief. The relief is available in respect of expenses incurred while working from home such as electricity, heating, and broadband. An employer can make a payment of €3.20 per day to employees to cover costs such as light and heat, home phone, broadband. This is known as the e-worker allowance. However, there is no obligation on employers to make this payment.
Preparation for the eventual recovery is very important. If not done so already, we recommend completing a Business Continuity Plan. Some points to consider when completing are:
Address the immediate challenges that COVID-19 represents to our business, workforces, customers, technology and business partners.
Address near term cash management challenges and broader resiliency issues during the current shut down and economic knock on affects.
create a detailed plan to return to business, to scale as quickly as the situation evolves and knock-on effects become clearer.
Reimagine the next normal and how our business will evolve to position itself.
Be clear about how regulatory and competitive environments may shift.
Although our office is now closed and we are all working remotely, David M. Breen & Co. remains open for business, and we are keen to assist our clients through these unprecedented times.
David, Caroline, and all the team are available via email and telephone to assist you and your business through the uncertain weeks and months ahead.