Údarás na Gaeltachta welcomes access to €5m fund for client companies under the COVID-19 Sustaining Enterprise Fund

22 June, 2020

min read

Údarás na Gaeltachta welcomes the confirmation from Senator Seán Kyne, Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, the Irish Language and the Islands, that Údarás na Gaeltachta’s client companies will be able to access the full range of supports under the Sustaining Enterprise Fund, with an initial amount of €5m being made available.

Access by client companies to this fund was made possible as a result of the close co-operation between Údarás na Gaeltachta, Enterprise Ireland, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Innovation and as part of the Government’s integrated response to the COVID-19 emergency and its impact on businesses.

We warmly welcome the confirmation that Gaeltacht businesses will be able to access €5m of this fund of financial supports to assist them recover from this crisis.

Údarás na Gaeltachta’s CEO, Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh

This is in addition to the recently announced extra funding of €0.6m secured for Údarás na Gaeltachta to administer the Online Trading Scheme in the Gaeltacht.

Today’s confirmation ensures that Gaeltacht enterprises will have access to the €180 million Sustaining Enterprise Fund, which is administered through the State’s development agencies, including Údarás na Gaeltachta and Enterprise Ireland, and which is made available to assist client-companies trade through the current crisis, following successful negotiations by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation with the European Commission under the temporary state aid framework.

This €180m Sustaining Enterprise Fund is specifically aimed at all firms with 10+ employees impacted by COVID-19 that are vulnerable but viable. The Fund will be available to eligible Údarás na Gaeltachta clients and will be operated by Enterprise Ireland, providing repayable advances and preference shares of up to €800,000 as agreed with the EU under new State Aid rules and, together with leveraged lending from the financial markets, should see up to €500m of additional investment in vulnerable but viable firms. These grants will only be repayable if and when a business returns to financial good health. Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies should contact an tÚdarás to begin the process.

This €180m Sustaining Enterprise Fund is specifically aimed at all firms with 10+ employees impacted by COVID-19 that are vulnerable but viable. The Fund will be available to eligible Údarás na Gaeltachta clients and will be operated by Enterprise Ireland, providing repayable advances and preference shares of up to €800,000 as agreed with the EU under new State Aid rules and, together with leveraged lending from the financial markets, should see up to €500m of additional investment in vulnerable but viable firms.  These grants will only be repayable if and when a business returns to financial good health.

Údarás na Gaeltachta’s CEO Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh said: “We have been working tirelessly the past few months with people and businesses in the Gaeltacht affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  We warmly welcome the confirmation that Gaeltacht businesses will be able to access €5m of this fund of financial supports to assist them recover from this crisis.  This announcement shows how cooperation between Údarás na Gaeltachta, Enterprise Ireland, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Innovation can have a positive effect on the Gaeltacht.  We will continue to work closely with all our stakeholders during this period to ensure that supports and resources are available to Gaeltacht enterprises during this uncertain time.”