Businesses in Fingal are being encouraged to apply for funding under a new assistance scheme launched by the Department of Enterprise Trade & Employment. The Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID (SBASC) is intended to target those businesses with operating costs that do not qualify for the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) operated by the Revenue Commissioners. Eligible applicants will be entitled to an initial payment of €4,000 for the period from January 1 to March 31, 2021 The Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID (SBASC) is available to companies, self-employed, sole traders or partnerships and the eligibility criteria for the SBASC and the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) are similar. The main difference between SBASC and CRSS is the requirement, in the case of CRSS, for the public to have access to a business premises. SBASC also aligns with recently announced grant schemes for the tourism, arts and entertainment sectors.Speaking about this new funding announcement Mayor of Fingal Cllr David Healy said: “The survival of small business is vital for the towns and villages of Fingal and I encourage anyone eligible to apply this new SBASC funding which will be of great assistance in meeting some of their current costs so they can keep afloat until the pandemic restrictions can be loosened.” AnnMarie Farrelly Chief Executive of Fingal County Council said: “Fingal County Council have been providing a wide range of supports to local businesses and working with all stakeholders throughout the last year to deal with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.The new funding provided under SBASC will be another important support for small businesses to ensure that they can reopen and continue to provide employment and vital services in communities across the county.”Emer O’Gorman Director of Economic, Enterprise, Tourism and Cultural Development said: “The new SBASC funding is a welcome addition to the range of financial supports available to Fingal businesses to enable them help keep afloat until they can fully reopen. It builds on previous supports such as the Restart Grant and Restart Grant Plus and our initiatives such as Fingal In it Together and Shop Local campaigns as we work closely with local Chambers of Commerce and national agencies to provide much-needed support to businesses. I would encourage all qualifying businesses to apply.”The grant, which is available as a contribution towards fixed costs to assist a business to keep operational for an eventual re-opening, is only available to an applicant operating from a rateable property. The scheme covers the period 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021. Each eligible applicant will receive a payment of €4,000 with an additional payment of €4,000 from May 2021 to applicants continuing to meet the scheme eligibility criteria. Full details and information on applying can be found on the Fingal County Council Website.The closing date for applications for the initial grant under SBASC is 21 April 2021.