Small and medium sized firms involved in concerts, cultural events, conferences and trade shows can apply for grants of up to €50,000 following the launch of a Government scheme to assist the events sector. This scheme will be open for applications from 1pm on Wednesday 4 August to 1pm on 31 August 2021
The Events Sector Covid Support Scheme (ESCSS) aims to help firms in the sector cope with the ongoing impact of the public health restrictions arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Please note that this scheme will operate with a limited fund of €11.5 million. Due to the high volume of applications anticipated, it may not be possible to allocate funding to all eligible applicants. Applications will be considered strictly by order of date and time of receipt by the department. Should the scheme be oversubscribed, the Minister may, subject to the availability of funding at the time, allocate additional funding to the scheme and any eligible applicants who were not funded may be offered funding if the scheme is extended without the requirement to reapply.
The following businesses will not be eligible:
- businesses that are eligible for or in receipt of the Revenue Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS)
- businesses with VAT-exclusive turnover of less than €150,000
- businesses that do not intend to resume trading after COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted
- registered charities, Not for Profit Organisations (NFP)
Note: Businesses that have received grants under Phase 1 of the Small Business Assistance Scheme COVID-19 (SBASC) or the Music and Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme (MEBAS) must declare this on their application. Amounts received under these schemes (SBASC Phase One and MEBAS) will be deducted from any grant approved under this scheme.
Who is eligible to apply
This scheme will be open to those SMEs who provide services to the events industry including services to provide for the production of all forms of live performance, trade shows, including event promoters, event management, conference organisers, security, supply of sound, lighting and stage equipment. Businesses whether sole traders, partnerships or incorporated entities operating within the events sector and who are ineligible for CRSS may apply.
This scheme will have two funding streams:
- Stream A: Businesses providing services to the Arts and Culture sector
- Stream B: Businesses providing services in the broader Events sector
The features of the scheme are as follows:
- applications will be accepted for companies with VAT-exclusive turnover of €150,000 and above for 2019. This must be verified using an Auditor’s Certificate/Letter signed by an Accountant. While your business may have turnover relating to other sectors, only turnover in relation to activity within the events sector will be considered relevant turnover for this scheme.
- the Auditor’s Certificate/Letter signed by an Accountant must confirm which stream the application is for and confirm the company operates in the arts and culture or broader events sector.
- support will be offered by way of a single once-off payment to the value of 7.5% of the VAT-exclusive turnover of the business, up to a maximum award of €50,000
- the business must be able to demonstrate that their average monthly turnover was no more than 25% of their average monthly turnover for 2019 for any consecutive six months during the period 12 March 2020 – 31 March 2021. This must be confirmed on the Auditor’s Certificate/Letter signed by an Accountant
- turnover eligible for this scheme can only be generated by activities in the State
- grants received under Phase One of the Small Business Assistance Support Scheme for Covid (SBASC) and the Music and Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme (MEBAS) will be deducted from any ESCSS award
- businesses must intend to resume trading in full once government restrictions are eased and will be required to declare this when applying
- the business must be located in the State and the address of the business for tax purposes must be located wholly within a geographical region for which COVID-19 restrictions are in operation
- profits of the trade or trading activities of the business must be chargeable to tax under Case I or II of Schedule D
- payments under the scheme are taxable and a tax liability may arise when the business makes its annual tax returns
- businesses must have a current eTax Clearance Certificate from the Revenue Commissioners
- the scheme operates on a self-assessment basis. Businesses are required to retain evidence and documentation that supports the basis for making a claim under this scheme as this may be requested by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under future eligibility checks
- names, grant amount and county in which the beneficiary is located of successful grantees may be published on the department’s website
- the department reserves the right to audit a randomly selected sample of eligible applicants’ accounts after the scheme has closed
How to apply
Applications may be made using the link to the online application system on the department’s ESCSS webpage, which will be made available at 1pm on 4 August 2021.
Applicants should ensure that their application form is completed in full and Auditor’s Certificate/Letter signed by an Accountant is submitted with the application. A confirmation email will issue detailing your application and your reference number.
To Note – Auditor’s Certificate/Letter signed by an Accountant must detail the following;
• Vat-Exclusive Turnover for 2019. While your business may have turnover relating to other sectors, only turnover in relation to activity within the events sector should be considered relevant turnover for this scheme.
• indicate which Stream (A or B) the application is for
• Confirmation that your average monthly turnover was no more than 25% of their average monthly turnover for 2019 for any consecutive six months during the period 12 March – 2020 – 31 March 2021.
• Confirmation that the company operates in the Arts and Culture or broader events sector and that the declared turnover relates only to activity within the events sector.
The above details must be noted on the Auditor’s Certificate/Letter signed by an Accountant in order for your application to be considered. All applications must include an Auditor’s Certificate/Letter signed by an Accountant. Accounts will not be accepted.
Further information is available at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/7f483-guidelines-for-the-events-sector-covid-support-scheme/