Some 271 B&Bs across Clare will now be eligible to benefit from the Restart Grant for Enterprises.

Local Fine Gael TD Joe Carey said the funding will be a welcome boost to the local tourism sector in Clare and help get B&Bs back on their feet.

Deputy Carey said: “Up until now the bed and breakfast sector in Clare, which is run by very proud families and individuals, have suffered due to a collapse in the international tourist market. I have been working on this with the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar as we want to support them through this difficult time and this has led to the July stimulus package.

“I can confirm that the Restart Grant for Enterprises in the package is being extended to a broader base of SMEs, including B&Bs, and expanded by €300m, bringing the total funding of the Restart Grant to €550m, since it began.

“The payment level is being increased up to €25,000. Further payments may be available to firms which have already received them.

“Some businesses, such as B&Bs, not previously included in the restart grant scheme, will now be eligible.

“I know this will be extremely welcome news for B&B owners all over Clare and puts them on an equal footing with other local enterprises. According to B&B Owners Association, there are 271 B&Bs across Clare.

“Also to support our tourism sector, a new Stay and Spend incentive will allow any taxpayer who pays over €625 on accommodation, food and non-alcoholic drinks, between October and April 2021, claim back up to €125 through a tax credit,” Deputy Carey said.

“The July Jobs Stimulus is the next step in the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is focused on the steps we will take between now to the end of the year in order to retain and create jobs.

“Later this year, to coincide with the Budget in October, the Government will set out a National Economic Plan, to chart a long term, jobs-led recovery.

“It will set out how we secure our public finances in a world where we must live with Covid-19, while driving efforts to decarbonise our economy and prepare for the next phase of technological transformation.

“The Plan will focus on preparing Ireland to adapt to a very different type of economy, where some sectors will remain severely challenged as long as Covid-19 remains a threat. New ways of thinking and types of support will be required,” Deputy Carey added.