May 21, 2024
Only 10 percent of ICOB grant money paid out to struggling businesses – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, has called for the immediate release of Increased Cost of Business scheme funding to approved businesses, as data shows only 10.7 percent of businesses have received support as of last week.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Since its announcement in Budget 2024, the Increased Cost of Business (ICOB) scheme was beset by delays, confusion, and incompetence. The nature of the scheme, qualifying criteria, and grant rate changed on a number of occasions.

“Therefore, it was unsurprising that businesses were confused and that only 49.94% of qualifying businesses had applied before it closed on 30th April.

“Thankfully, the Minister for Enterprise listened to Sinn Féin’s advice and reopened the scheme so more, hard pressed ratepayers could apply for relief.

“However, data obtained by Sinn Féin shows that not only have many businesses not been able to apply, but firms who have applied have not had their applications processed and thousands of approved businesses have not received any money to date.

“As of 15th May only 17 percent of businesses have had their applications approved, and only 10.7 percent of applicants had grant money paid to them. 

“In six local authority areas, including Dublin City Council, not a single cent has been paid out to struggling businesses. Across the whole of Dublin city and county just 157 businesses have received the ICOB grant.

“The situation is replicated in Kerry, Roscommon, Cork County, Wexford, and Laois.

“This is a shocking situation for a scheme which was announced six months ago.

“Struggling businesses need this money and it should be released to all approved businesses immediately.

“In addition, the government and local authorities must also engage in a comprehensive communications strategy to encourage further SME take up of the ICOB scheme before it closes for a second time.”

ENDS

Click here to view the PQ response in relation to the increased cost of business grant.

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