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Matthews calls on those in the music & live performance sectors to investigate ESCSS grant funding

Date: 20 July 2021

Green Party TD, Steven Matthews was speaking following a cross party group meeting with representatives from the live entertainment industry which he is a member of. The Events Sector Covid Support Scheme (ESCSS) is targeted at SMEs in that sector which have been affected significantly by the Covid-19 public health restrictions.

This funding stream will formally open for applications on 4 August, but full information is available on the Department of Culture website where you can also find information in relation to all available grants for this sector. Successful applicants for the funding will be awarded 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. Discussing the issue, Deputy Matthews said:

“The impact that this pandemic has had on businesses and employees within the live events/ performance sector has been detrimental. It’s an issue that I raised within weeks of the first lockdown in the special Oireachtas Covid Committee and countless times since in the Dáil chamber with various Ministers. This is a sector that not only has seen a virtually 100% reduction in work opportunities in many cases but also is very unlikely to return to what we would perceive as normal in the short term.

“I have met with people involved in stage production, musicians, sound engineers amongst others from across Wicklow who were desperate for further government support. While interventions such as the Small Business Assistance Scheme for Covid (SBASC) and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) have been very positive and have been able to keep many businesses in this sector afloat, this new ESCSS funding is a recognition that the events industry has been one of the hardest hit in the economy and the reality that many businesses in this sector may not see a return to normal for some time.

“One key thing that must be highlighted is that previous awarding of the SBASC grant or the MEBAS scheme is not a disqualifying criterion for the ESCSS fund. If a business was granted funding under either of these grants, that amount will be deducted from their ESCSS grant.

“I would encourage any business owner in that works in live performance, stage management, event security, conference organisers, event planning and all related enterprises to look into this funding and if you need assistance in your application, do not hesitate to get in touch with me directly, concluded Deputy Matthews.



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