COVID-19 recovery and cost of living business supports


Business owners could avail of a number of supports during COVID-19.

This page summarises some of the financial support schemes, rates waivers and tax measures in place to support businesses as they continue to recover from COVID-19 and deal with the rising costs of living.

You can also get advice from your accountant or use the advisory support from your Local Enterprise Office (LEO).

You can get up-to-date information on support and guidance for businesses and employers from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Or use the online guide

Loans, grants and vouchers

Small Business Cashflow Loans

Small Business Cashflow Loans from €2,000 to €25,000 are available through Microfinance Ireland (MFI). The loan terms are typically 3 years and there is a 1% discount on the APR Rate if you apply through your Local Enterprise Office. Once all documents are received, you will have a credit decision within 10 working days.

The loan is open to sole traders, partnerships, and limited companies with fewer than 10 full-time employees and an annual turnover of up to €2 million. You can apply through the MFI website or through your Local Enterprise Office.

Trading Online Voucher Scheme

A Trading Online Voucher Scheme worth up to €2,500 is available to help small and microenterprises get online. A second voucher of up to €2,500 is also available. Contact your Local Enterprise Office for more information and application details.

Rates waiver and tax measures

A number of measures are available to help businesses reduce their operational costs.

Increased Cost of Business (ICOB) grant

An Increased Cost of Business (ICOB) grant to help with business costs, was announced in Budget 2024.

The grant gives businesses back half of what they paid for commercial rates in 2023 if they paid up to €10,000.

Businesses who paid between €10,000 and €30,000 in commercial rates in 2023 get a grant of €5,000.

The grants were available through local authorities. The local authority contacted eligible businesses directly. If you are in rate arrears engage with your local authority as you may be eligible for the grant. You get an ID, PIN number and details of how to register.

The grant opened for registration on 14 March and closed for registration on 29 May 2024.

Second grant payment for retail and hospitality sectors

Businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors are entitled to a second payment. If your business is already registered, there is no need to re-register to get the second grant payment. You will receive another email when your second grant payment is processed.

Newly-registered businesses in these sectors who qualify are entitled to a double payment.

Ukraine Enterprise Crisis Scheme

The Ukraine Enterprise Crisis Scheme helps viable but vulnerable firms of all sizes in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors.

There are two streams of funding under the Scheme. You can apply under:

  • Stream 1 for grants up to €500,00 to help if you are having trading difficulties caused by liquidity problems as a result of the war in Ukraine
  • Stream 2 for state aid support of 30% of energy charges in 2022 if you are an energy intensive company experiencing severe increases in energy costs

You can find out more and apply for the scheme through Enterprise Ireland.

‘Warehousing’ of tax liabilities

Debts that are warehoused are subject to 0% interest for the warehoused period. The tax debt warehousing scheme was further extended for some businesses until 1 May 2024.

No interest was payable up to 30 April 2023 on warehoused debt. Businesses that already paid interest on warehoused debt at 3% will get a refund from Revenue. Revenue is also offering flexibilities such as payment breaks and extended payment arrangements on a case-by-case basis.

Businesses had until 1 May 2024 to either:

  • Pay their warehoused debt in full, or
  • Engage with Revenue to repay the debt through a phased payment arrangement

Find more information on the Debt Warehousing Scheme from Revenue.

Waiving of licence fees for street furniture

For the remainder of 2024, restaurant and café owners do not have to pay street furniture licence fees for tables and chairs used for outdoor dining.

More information

You can use the online guide for information on the range of government supports available.

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has an Enterprise Information Centre, with information on the Government supports available to businesses. Call (01) 631 2002, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm or email:

Page edited: 18 June 2024