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  • Writer's picturePippa Hackett

New SME supports

I am encouraging small and medium-sized businesses across Offaly to make sure they don’t miss out on a broad suite of cost-reducing measures that were launched this afternoon.


The package includes an extension to the €257 million Increased Cost of Business Grant, a €54 million cut in Employer PRSI and €10 million in new enterprise measures.

With Minister for Enterprise, Peter Burke, Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath, as we launched new SME supports at Government buildings today.

Alongside Minister for Enterprise, Peter Burke, and Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath, I spoke at Government Buildings of how my interaction with businesses in countless different sectors has helped inform the composition of this latest range of supports.


Small business and enterprise is absolutely central to a sustainable local economy, and I see that every day as I visit small and medium businesses all across Offaly. These family-owned businesses are the lifeblood of the towns, the villages, and the people that they serve.


These businesses have had to show extraordinary resilience in recent years, in the face of challenges like Covid, rising energy prices and inflation. Government has implemented measures to support employees, but it’s equally vital that we support the businesses who provide those jobs and pay the wages that keep towns and rural areas alive.


We are announcing a series of supports for businesses today, all of which I think will make a significant impact.

One I really want to highlight is the Increased Cost of Business Grant, which is a cash payment of up to €5,000 for SMEs. We’re extending the application period for the €5,000 grant to May 29 for those businesses who haven’t yet availed of it.  We’re doubling the grant for retail and hospitality businesses to a €10,000 cash payment. I’d really encourage all eligible businesses – those with a rates bill of €30,000 or less - to apply at


Among the other measures announced by Government today are:

  • Increasing the maximum amount available under the Energy Efficiency Grant Scheme to €10,000, while increasing the grant rate from 50% to 75%

  • Doubling the Innovation Grant Scheme to €10,000

  • Widening the eligibility for the Trading Online Voucher, extending it to all sectors up to 50 employees, modernise eligible expenditure and doubling the grant to €5,000

  • Increasing the lending limit for Microfinance Ireland loans to €50,000 from €25,000

  • Widening the eligibility for the Digital for Business Consultancy Scheme and extending it to all sectors with up to 50 employees

  • Increasing the employer PRSI threshold from €441 to €496 with effect from 1 October 2024, which will ensure that employers with employees earning the weekly equivalent of the national minimum wage will pay employer PRSI at 8.8% instead of 11%. This will result in business savings of €54 million in a full year.  

  • Removing fees for putting out tables and chairs for outdoor dining for the rest of 2024. This will save approximately €125 per table for hotels, restaurants, public houses or other businesses where food is sold for consumption on the premises.


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