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European Commission approves €60m scheme for Irish SMEs

The European Commission has approved a €60 million scheme to support small and medium-sized Irish businesses impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The ‘Small Business Assistance Scheme for Covid’, will be open to companies in all sectors, except financial institutions and companies operating in the primary production of agricultural products, fisheries or aquaculture sectors. In order

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Half of restaurants face permanent closure due to pandemic, says RAI

Half of restaurants face permanent closure in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the lobby group which represents the industry.  The Restaurants Association of Ireland will tomorrow call for the VAT reduction from 13.5% to 9%, which was introduced late last year, to remain in place until 2025.  It will also demand that

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Euro zone inflation holds steady before expected spike

Euro zone inflation held steady as expected last month, taking a break in what is likely to be a temporary but sharp spike in consumer prices in the coming months, data showed today.  Prices in the euro zone rose by 0.2% on the month in January and 0.9% compared to a year earlier, in line

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Bank of Ireland reassures on cash facilities and ATMs

Bank of Ireland has said that no location will be left without access to financial services or cash facilities after its decision to close 103 branches in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.  The bank said the branches that are closing are predominately self-service locations that do not offer a counter service.  The branches

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Ireland’s minimum wage is second-highest in the European Union

Ireland has the second-highest minimum wage across the EU, at €1,724 per month, according to Eurofound. Luxembourg has the highest, at €2,202, the Dublin-based EU agency said in a new survey. Ireland’s minimum wage was raised to €10.20 an hour from January this year for people aged 20 and over. The rate here is recommended

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How ordinary savers can avoid the negative interest bullet

The notion that ordinary savers could be charged to leave their savings in a bank has alarmed many — yet this is exactly what would happen if customers are hit with negative interest rates. There are growing concerns that personal customers could be hit with negative interest rates later this year. The upcoming withdrawal of

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Retailers affected by the pandemic negotiate rental discounts of up to 20pc

Retailers are negotiating rental discounts of up to 20pc in many cases, as they continue to be affected by Covid-19 restrictions. More substantial discounts are being achieved by shops negotiating new lettings in certain locations, according to agents CBRE in its latest bimonthly market report. “This is creating opportunities for those retailers that are in

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Central Bank expects ‘speedy’ resolution of business interruption claims

The Central Bank has contacted a number of insurers on resolving relevant business interruption claims in a ‘proactive and speedy’ manner. It comes as the bank continues its supervisory examination of business interruption insurance issues and in the wake of the recent judgement from the High Court against FBD. The court ruled in favour of

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Businesses urged to claim 0% tariff on UK-origin goods

Businesses, and especially SMEs, have been alerted of the need to actively claim the zero-tariff rate on UK origin goods.  The Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English, said that under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, tariff duties are eliminated for trade between the EU and the UK where the relevant

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Hope fading post-Brexit trade talks could finish before Monday

Negotiations on a future EU-UK relationship will resume in London this morning, but hope is fading that the talks on a post-Brexit trade deal could finish today. Downing Street last night claimed that the EU side had placed fresh obstacles in the way of an agreement following pressure from French President Emmanuel Macron. British officials

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