3rd March 2019
Amendment to Rescue and Restructuring Scheme increases existing state aid approved budget from €20m to €200m
Scheme split between Temporary Restructuring Support and Rescue and Restructuring Aid
The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD today announced that the EU Commission had agreed an amendment to the Rescue and Restructuring scheme budget from €20m to €200m. The move follows ongoing consultation between the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation with the EU Commission about the need to safeguard the future of Irish SMEs most exposed to Brexit.
Welcoming the announcement, Minister Humphreys said: “The Rescue and Restructuring Scheme is an important safety net for companies. It is part of a suite of supports developed by my Department to provide aid to enterprises impacted by Brexit.
“By increasing the provision from €20m to €200m, the Government will be able to put in place a fund, should it be required, to offer both rescue aid and temporary restructuring aid to SMEs in financial difficulty or experiencing acute liquidity needs.
“It goes without saying that we hope we never have to use this scheme, however, having the option there is prudent as part of our overall contingency plan for Brexit,” Minister Humphreys added.
The scheme aims to avoid situations where value-creating and viable SMEs, with the potential to restore their competitiveness, experience difficulties because of an inability to access finance from credit markets. The scheme will be activated if and when it is needed.
The Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD said the fund will be important for companies that need it: “Temporary Restructuring support will take the form of loans repayable over a period of 18 months and will be available to SMEs active in all sectors of the economy, with the exception of the steel, coal and financial sectors.”
Minister Humphreys and her officials continue to engage with the European Commission on issues relating to State Aid. Last week, the Commission gave State Aid approval for national investment in an Irish cheese producing company, Carbery Food Ingredients, to provide a €5.75m injection to help the company towards financing a €65m diversification project to mitigate the impacts of Brexit.
In making this latest announcement, Minister Humphreys also urged businesses that trade with the UK to register for a customs number with Revenue. Businesses that intend to import or export to the UK post Brexit, can only do so with a customs number called an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number. Revenue has written to over 70,000 businesses in recent weeks alerting them to this requirement.
“So far around one in four businesses in Ireland that trade with the UK have registered with Revenue. With just five weeks to go to Brexit, I am strongly urging the remaining three-quarters or so of firms to sign up for the EORI number. It only takes a few minutes to do so online through Revenue’s Online Service, ROS”, the Minister added.
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department also has a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.
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