Restaurant group to meet with Tánaiste as he says nearly half of businesses will miss support for Covid-19

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The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) will meet with ministers tomorrow to discuss business supports for Covid-19, with the group saying half of the businesses will be “excluded” from financial aid.

a RAI will meet with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Minister of Arts Catherine Martin to discuss the Covid-19 Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS).

RAI Managing Director Adrian Cummins said: “Indeed, with the new media there will be more losers than winners in terms of the level of support needed for the hospitality industry.

“We are meeting with Tánaiste and Minister Catherine Martin to discuss the best way to administer support, so that all businesses can be supported.

“When you look at the new CRSS regime, almost 50% of businesses will be excluded. The threshold to be included means that many companies will not meet this threshold.

“It is a brake on opening. If companies open, their income level will become too high to benefit from the CRSS scheme. Businesses will lose.

The details of the CRSS are set out in the 2020 finance law. The system has been put in place to support companies strongly affected by the restrictions introduced to fight the pandemic.

The stimulus will be available to qualifying businesses, which operate a business affected by the Covid-19 restrictions. The company must have been required to prohibit or significantly restrict customer access to its business premises.

Eligible businesses can apply for an income grant known as a Business Expense Credit Advance (ACTE). An ACT is payable for each week a business is affected by the restrictions. The ACT is equal to 10pc of the company’s average weekly turnover in 2019, up to € 20,000, plus 5pc on turnover above € 20,000.

For business start-ups, the turnover is based on the actual average weekly turnover for 2020. The ACTE is subject to a maximum weekly payment of € 5,000.

New restrictions will take effect from Tuesday and run until January 9. These include the closure of nightclubs and strict social distancing in bars and restaurants.

The rules will see the industry revert to the pre-October 22 situation, with a maximum of six people allowed at tables and no multiple reservations.

Elaina Fitzgerald Kane of the Irish Hotels Federation has previously said the new support “falls short” of what is needed.

“It is devastating that the government has failed to restore employment supports for hotels, despite the collapse in activity levels seen across the country by our industry,” she said.

“We call on the government to review this decision and urgently restore the Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) to November levels.

“The government’s failure to support our sector is all the more disappointing given the assurances we received that we would not face a cliff in terms of financial support, but that is exactly what has happened. “


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