ESCSS GRANT
Events Sector Covid Support Scheme
  • applications are now invited for payment under this scheme

  • this scheme will be open for applications from 1pm on Wednesday 4 August to 1pm on 31 August 2021

  • businesses may make only one application under this scheme and must choose one stream to apply under

 

Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an unprecedented impact on those in the events sector. The new Events Sector Covid Support Scheme (ESCSS) is a once-off scheme with a funding allocation of €11.5 million to support the events sector. This new scheme is a targeted support for SME’s operating in the events sector and, which have been significantly negatively impacted by restrictions introduced by the government under public health regulations to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants will be paid to successful applicants as a contribution to the businesses costs. 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. 

To be eligible for this scheme the business must have been ineligible for support under the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) operated by Revenue.

 

Aims of the scheme

Under this scheme, payment will be made on a once-off grant basis, as a contribution towards fixed costs to assist businesses that have seen significant reductions in their turnover due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

How to qualify

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

Business types eligible for funding under streams will include the following:

 

Stream A: Businesses providing services to the Arts and Culture sector

This stream applies to businesses operating in the arts sector as defined by the Arts Act 2003, that is:

""arts" means any creative or interpretative expression (whether traditional or contemporary) in whatever form, and includes, in particular, visual arts, theatre, literature, music, dance, opera, film, circus and architecture, and includes any medium when used for those purpose".

Examples include:

  • lighting/sound equipment services

  • stage equipment services

  • fencing equipment services

  • security services

  • health and safety services

  • crowd management/stewarding services

  • hygiene/cleaning services

  • circus services

  • catering for live events

  • event management services

  • event marketing and promotion services

 

Stream B: Businesses providing services in the broader Events sector

Examples include:

  • conferencing services

  • exhibition and trade show services

  • catering for live events

  • lighting/sound equipment services

  • stage equipment services

  • fencing equipment services

  • security services

  • health and safety services

  • crowd management/stewarding services

  • hygiene/cleaning services

  • event management services

  • event marketing and promotion services

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

  • the Auditor’s Certificate/Letter signed by an Accountant must confirm which stream the application is for and confirm the NACE code under which tax is paid by the company to demonstrate that 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 turnover was no more than 25% of their average 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

Please note:

A business can make a maximum of one application under this scheme, either stream A or B, but not under both streams.

 

Available funding

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. The department will consider applications strictly by order of date and time of receipt.

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.

 

Other conditions of the scheme

 

Timing of scheme

The Scheme will remain open until 1pm on Wednesday 31 August 2021 or until the fund is gone, whichever occurs first.

Please note that 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 in the department.

 

Acknowledgment of funding

Businesses will be obliged to acknowledge the department's assistance in Annual Financial Statements for the year the grant is paid.

 

General

The information provided in this document is intended to give applicants an understanding of the process by which applications for assistance are assessed and approved and does not purport to be a legal interpretation.

 

Freedom of Information Act 2014

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2014, details contained in applications and supporting documents may, on request, be released to third parties. If there is information contained in your application which is sensitive or confidential in nature, please identify it and provide an explanation as to why it should not be disclosed. If a request to release sensitive information under the legislation is received, you will be consulted before a decision is made whether or not to release the information. However, in the absence of the identification of particular information as sensitive, it could be disclosed without any consultation with you.

 

Publication

Details of individual awards may be published on the department's website including the name of the grantee, county in which the beneficiary is located, and grant amount.

 

Data protection

For data protection in relation to the department, please see information at the following link: https://www.gov.ie/en/organisation-information/df3fe-data-protection-policy/

 

Disclaimer

The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media shall not be liable to the applicant or any other party for any loss, damage or costs of any nature resulting directly or indirectly from the application or its subject matter or the department’s rejection of the application for any reason.

The department, its servants or its agents shall not at any time in any circumstances be held responsible or liable for any matter connected with developing, planning, financing, building, operating, managing and/or administering individual projects or any matter connected with the part payment by the department of invoices submitted by grantees.

 

Further information may be requested

The department reserves the right to request further information from you in order to verify details in your application. In this regard, the department may undertake spot-checks.

 

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.

Applicants may save a draft version of their applications before they submit their final application form – but please note that drafts will not be considered. The onus is on the applicant to ensure their application has been submitted.

Submission of false or misleading information to the department at any stage is treated very seriously. Any business that does not comply with the terms and conditions of the ‘Events Sector Covid Support Scheme’ may have their grant withdrawn or be required to repay all or part of a grant and/or be barred from making applications for a period of time.

 

Appeals

An appeal may be made by an applicant if the applicant considers that the process for reviewing their application was not adhered to.

The applicant must be in receipt of a decision email from the ESCSS team in order to make an appeal. An appeal must be made within 5 working days of the date on the decision email.

See further information on the ESCSS appeals process.

For all queries in relation to ESCSS please email: ESCSS@tcagsm.gov.ie