BUSINESS CONTINUITY VOUCHER - Why Every Business Should Apply
Right now every business owner is trying to figure out what they can do now in order to ensure that they have a business to go back to when things go back to 'normal'!
The Government, in my opinion, is to be commended for the speed with which it has recognised the scale of this crisis, from both a personal health and a business health point of view. The measures that have been introduced in the last number of weeks are unprecedented (there's that word again!), in terms of their speed of introduction and breadth of application.
One of the best, and most accessible and most practical measures, in my opinion, is the new Business Continuity Voucher. The introduction of the voucher was announced by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humpreys, on 26th March 2020.
Who can apply for the Business Continuity Voucher?
All sole traders and limited companies across every business sector that employ up to 50 people.
What is the value of the Business Continuity Voucher?
The Business Continuity Voucher is worth up to €2,500.
What can the Business Continuity Voucher be used for?
The Business Continuity Voucher can only be used towards the payment of third party consultancy costs to assist with developing short-term and long-term strategies to deal with the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Financial Review and Planning i.e. hiring an accountant.
HR Planning i.e. hiring a HR specialist.
Health & Safety i.e. hiring a Health & Safety consultant.
ICT (Information & Communications) support to implement remote working policies.
How do you apply for the Business Continuity Voucher?
You must apply to your Local Enterprise Office (LEO) by completing a short application form, and emailing it directly to the LEO. The links to the form in both Word and PDF format are below.
If your application is approved, a qualified expert will be selected and agreed with you to undertake the project. Experts can be appointed from existing LEO, Enterprise Ireland and other panels. You can nominate a expert if there is someone that you want to work with.
Is there a deadline to apply for the Business Continuity Voucher?
Qualifying applications will be processed and assessed on the basis of their receipt by the LEO to such time as the fund is exhausted or on 15th May 2020, whichever is earlier.
Why should you apply for the Business Continuity Voucher?
This voucher is 100% fully funded (unlike the Trading Online Voucher which requires partial funding by you). There is literally no financial cost to you, the business owner.
The application process is very simple, with a very straightforward application form, and based on the feedback I am getting, the Local Enterprise Offices are processing applications without delay.
You can access services that you might otherwise have deemed too expensive at this time.
The advice that you will receive from your expert will help you to assess the viability of your business and plan for the future at a time when you most need independent, expert, non-judgmental advice.
Every business owner is invariably too close to their business to see it objectively. An independent, fresh set of eyes on your business can potentially identify opportunities that you wouldn't otherwise see. This can be the springboard to re-invent your business and to come out stronger and leaner on the other side of this crisis.
The one thing you have right now is TIME - why not use it productively to work ON your business rather than IN it? We are all dogged by the curse by 'busyness' in 'normal' times. See these strange times as an opportunity to do all the things that you've been meaning to do in your business, be it in the financial, HR or ICT realm, while working with a qualified expert.
Access to this voucher will not be available indefinitely; believe it or not, things will eventually return to 'normal'. Don't miss out on the opportunity to obtain free expert advice, a rare opportunity!
Here is a quick video that I have recorded showing you what is involved in completing the form. I do this to encourage everyone to apply.
I have decided to open up my calendar from next week to assist anyone who needs help in completing this form. Use this link to book a free 30 minute Zoom call with me: