The Government has failed Irish businesses in its response to closures and restrictions imposed by Covid-19.
That’s according to Donegal Sinn Fein TD Padraig McLoughlin. It comes as the county entered a Level 3 lockdown from midnight under which residents are not allowed cross county borders.
The new rules also involve a ban on indoor dining as well as further restrictions on sporting events. However wet pubs will be allowed to serve up to 15 people outdoors.
Mr McLoughlin said “The response from the government, in terms of financial support, has been completely inadequate, when you compare it to other European countries.”
“If your asking for businesses to be closed you must say that you’re going to financially support them, that you’re going to give hope.”
Earlier this week, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar announced a €2m support grant for businesses in the county. Businesses that are impacted by 25% or more fall in turnover will now be entitled to a 30% top-up, bringing the new minimum for affected businesses to €5,200 and the new maximum to €32,500. Those that applied and received a grant previously, can receive the top-up of 30%.
Donegal applicants to loans and voucher schemes set out in the July Jobs Stimulus package will be prioritised. This includes the LEO Trading On-Line Vouchers, MicroFinance Ireland Covid-19 Loan Fund and access to liquidity and investment finance schemes.
Tánaiste Varadkar said that additional funding will help businesses in the county over the next three weeks.The Gardaí will conduct a series of checkpoints throughout the county to ensure compliance with the new guidelines. They have co-operated with the PSNI to establish cross-border checkpoints also.
Deputy Commissioner John Twomey said Gardaí will support vulnerable people who need to isolate as a result of the pandemic.
“If you are feeling isolated or need help with shopping, collecting your prescription or anything else similar, please contact your local Garda station.” Mr Twomey said. READ MORECovid-19: Checkpoints in place as Donegal enters Level Three