Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment and Workers’ Rights Louise O’Reilly TD has said that the failure to expand the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme to include suppliers, and several other businesses, is putting the future viability of these excluded businesses at risk.
Speaking this morning, Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) aims to support businesses during the higher levels of lockdown.
“For those businesses receiving payment on the scheme, it is a life-saving source of revenue.
“However, there are many, many businesses who are unable to receive payment under the scheme, and as a result, their future survival is threatened.
“For some time now, I have been highlighting that the scheme totally excludes suppliers, event management companies, taxi drivers, the outdoor activity industry, businesses without a fixed premises, and many others.
“Indeed, I raised the shortfalls of the scheme with the Tánaiste in the Enterprise, Trade and Employment Committee during the last lockdown, and asked that the government expand the scheme to include as many businesses as necessary, and to pull in those currently excluded from the CRSS scheme.
“There are companies, such as in the event management business, who employ many people, organise events all over the state bringing business activity to nearly every county, and who contribute significant tax revenue to the state, who have been excluded from the scheme because they don’t have a fixed premises.
“There are other businesses, such as suppliers, who are affected upstream by the shockwaves of the lockdown on their downstream customers who are all closed, and these businesses are also excluded from the CRSS scheme due to the narrow nature of who can qualify for funding.
“Unfortunately, to date, the issues identified within the scheme have not been addressed.
“The government need to urgently progress this matter and expand the CRSS scheme to ensure it delivers for as many suffering businesses to ensure it can succeed in keeping these businesses afloat.”