Fears expressed for up to 456 local businesses
Concerns have been raised among members of Roscommon County Council after it emerged that 456 businesses in the county hadn’t applied for the Government Restart Grant prior to its closing date on October 31st.
During a presentation of the local authority’s finances at Monday’s monthly meeting, Director of Services Martin Lydon said that initial uptake of the grant option had been very slow.
Mr. Lydon said that there had been a total of 581 applications totalling €1.8 million and 866 Restart Grant Plus applications totalling €4.4 million. There is now a total of €8.2 million to be paid to businesses and funding has been received.
The meeting heard that restrictions have made it difficult to ascertain why certain businesses had not applied, and therefore there was currently no way of knowing which of the 456 non-applicants would remain in business.
Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, Cllr. Laurence Fallon said despite efforts to highlight supports, some business owners were still unaware of the grant.
“It is a significant worry that 456 businesses did not apply but despite the huge effort by Roscommon County Council staff, some business owners were still unaware of the Restart Grant,” he said.
Cllr. Paschal Fitzmaurice (Fianna Fáil) said the pandemic would inevitably lead to some closures.
“As a ratepayer myself, I’m well aware of the difficult times we are in. Businesses will close and the lights will go off for good for some in County Roscommon,” he said, before urging the Chamber to support local businesses ahead of the Christmas period.
Cllr. Tony Ward (Independent) also raised concerns and called on the local authority to reach out to businesses which hadn’t applied for grants.