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Laois Councillor urges local businesses to apply for Restart Grant to help with reopening costs after COVID-19 closures

Leas Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, Cllr Conor Bergin has urged local micro and small businesses in Laois to apply for the Restart Grant from Laois County Council, to assist with reopening costs and re-employing workers after the COVID-19 closure.

He said: “I would strongly encourage any micro or small businesses in County Laois who had to close during the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for the Restart Grant from Laois County Council, if they have not already done so.

“The grant is a minimum payment of €2,000 and a maximum payment of €10,000, based on the rates bill of the business in 2019.

“To date, 497 applications have been received under the Restart Grant which is being paid by Laois County Council.

“404 applications have been approved and paid with a value of €1,349,531 and the remaining applications are currently being processed.

“Furthermore, the announcement yesterday of the July Jobs Stimulus Package by the Government has expanded the restart grant to benefit a wider range of businesses.

“The payment level is being increased to €25,000. Further payments may be available to those firms which have already received them. Other businesses, such as B&Bs, not previously included in the scheme, will now be eligible.

“With some limited exceptions, all businesses have been granted a waiver of commercial rates until the end of September 2020.”

Applications can be made on the Laois County Council website and the closing date for applications is August 31.

Cllr Bergin is also Chairperson of the Council’s Enterprise, Economic Development and Tourism Strategic Policy Committee.

He said: “I am delighted to see that many Laois businesses are back up and running after closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Now that these businesses have reopened safely with social distancing measures in place, I believe that we all need to pull together and shop local to support jobs in County Laois.’’

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.