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Businesses in city hit hardest as hundreds to avail of tax scheme

  • 350 companies in the capital apply to 'Stay and Spend' plan

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Castle Leslie, in Co Monaghan

Castle Leslie, in Co Monaghan

Castle Leslie, in Co Monaghan

More than 1,300 business have registered for the Government's 'Stay and Spend' initiative, which aims to get people spending locally after the pandemic all but wiped out foreign holidays this year.

However, there are significant differences in the number of businesses signing-up depending on the area of the country.

Around 350 of the total registered by last night were in the Dublin region.

However, Dublin 10 was home to just one of those, while at the top of the scale, there were 88 in Dublin 2.

Graeme McQueen, of Dublin Chamber of Commerce, said the numbers signing up in the city centre, compared to the suburbs, reflects how businesses there are especially concerned about their survival.

"Those figures mirror what we're hearing and seeing in Dublin," he said.

"The hospitality and retail sectors have been worse hit in the city centre than in the suburbs, so it's not surprising to see there is more interest in the support from centrally located businesses which have seen footfall collapse.

"With tourism activity in Dublin all but wiped out over the past few months, and with very few office workers around, it remains a very tough environment for retail and hospitality businesses in the city centre."

He encouraged all eligible businesses to register for the scheme to ensure they're taking advantage of all supports that are available.

"These supports could make the difference between a company surviving and being able to retain jobs over the coming months."

Cork was the county outside the capital with the highest number of registrations at 154.

Alcohol

The initiative, which begins on October 1, allows an individual to claim back up 20pc spent on food or hospitality. A maximum €125 income tax credits can be claimed on submission to Revenue of receipts.

This would mean a total spend of €625 by the individual in the sector.

All submitted receipts must be for a minimum of €25 and alcohol is not included.

A company must be registered with Revenue for the scheme for its customers to be able to claim the money back.

Among the businesses to have already done so are coffee chain outlets such as Costa, which has four branches registered in Dublin 18 alone, and upmarket hotels like Castle Leslie, in Co Monaghan.

Businesses on the islands, which were hard hit by the absence of a summer holiday season, are also looking to take advantage of the scheme, such as Joe Watty's on Inis Mór, on the Aran Islands.

The Seanad's spokesperson on Arts Sports and Tourism, Micheál Carrigy, urged hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes that have not yet done so to sign up.

He pointed out customers were more likely to visit a business taking part and called for an official advertisement, such as a sticker, to be used by a business to advertise to customers it was registered.

"It's about stimulating spend in the local economy and giving people an incentive to stay in Ireland, staycation, eating out, getting these businesses back on their feet," he told the Herald.

"You're more likely to go to somewhere that's registered than is not. It's important that business know this.

"We want people keeping jobs in the local economy and be able to benefit from their tax by keeping receipts where they spend."