Local Enterprise Offices provide a range of financial supports designed to assist with the establishment and/or growth of businesses employing up to ten people. These financial supports are designed to provide a flexible suite of supports to LEO clients and potential clients.

The general conditions for grant support are as follows:

  • The sector of the economy in which an enterprise is operating or intends to operate
  • The size or proposed size of the enterprise
  • Any expenditure incurred, prior to receipt by applicant of the letter of offer from the LEO, will not be eligible for grant support.

LEOs can assist in the establishment, and/or development, of new and existing enterprises from individuals/sole traders, companies and community groups subject to the following eligibility criteria:

  • The enterprise must be in the commercial sphere
  • The enterprise must demonstrate a market for the product/service
  • The enterprise must have a capacity for growth and new job creation
  • The enterprise must not employ more than 10 people.

Feasibility Grants

Feasibility grants are designed to assist the promoter with researching market demand for a product or service and examining its sustainability. It includes assistance with innovation including specific consultancy requirements, hiring of expertise from third level colleges private specialists, design, patent costs, and prototype development.

The maximum Feasibility / Innovation Grant payable for the S&E Region shall be 50% of the investment or €20,000 whichever is the lesser. The maximum Feasibility / Innovation Grant payable for the BMW Region shall be 60% of the investment or €20,000 whichever is the lesser.

Expenditure may be considered under the following headings:

  • Innovation Costs
  • Own Labour Research
  • Consultancy Costs
  • Miscellaneous Costs

Priming Grants

A Priming Grant is a business start-up grant, available to micro enterprises within the first 18 months of start-up.

Priming grants may be available for sole traders, partnerships, community groups or limited companies that fulfil the following criteria:

  • Located within the LEO's geographic area
  • A business which on growth may or may not fit the Enterprise Ireland portfolio
  • A business employing up to 10 employees
  • A manufacturing or internationally traded services business
  • A Domestically traded Service business with the potential to trade internationally
  • A domestically traded services being established by a female returning to the workforce or unemployed persons where the potential for deadweight and displacement does not exist.

Eligible clients may be awarded a Priming Grant within the first eighteen months of setting up the business.

The maximum Priming Grant payable shall be 50% of the investment or €150,000 whichever is the lesser. Grants over €80,000 and up to €150,000 shall be the exception and shall only apply in the case of projects that clearly demonstrate a potential to graduate to Enterprise Ireland and/or to export internationally.

In all other cases, the maximum grant shall be 50% of the investment or €80,000 whichever is the lesser. A percentage of any grant assistance will be in refundable form at the discretion of the LEO.

Business Expansion Grants

The Business Expansion grant is designed to assist the business in its growth phase after the initial 18 month start-up period.

Business Expansion grants may be awarded to sole traders, partnerships, community groups or limted companies that fulfil the following criteria:

  • Located within the CEB's geographic area
  • A business, which, on growth, may or may not have the capacity to fit the Enterprise Ireland portfolio
  • A business employing up to 10 employees
  • A Manufacturing or Internationally traded service business
  • A Domestically traded Service business with the potential to trade internationally.

The maximum Business Expansion Grant payable shall be 50% of the investment or €150,000 whichever is the lesser. Grants over €80,000 and up to €150,000 shall be the exception and shall only apply in the case of projects that clearly demonstrate a potential to graduate to Enterprise Ireland and/or to export internationally. In all other cases, the maximum grant shall be 50% of the investment or €80,000 whichever is the lesser. Subject to the 50% limit, a maximum grant of €15,000 per full time job created shall apply in respect of any employment support granted.

A business that had availed of a Priming Grant will be ineligible to apply for a Business Expansion grant until 18 months after approval/drawdown date of Priming Grant whichever is the later.

Subject to the 50% limit, a maximum grant of €15,000 per full time job created shall apply in respect of any employment support granted.

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