Cllr Sean O'Brien
Independent Offaly councillor, Sean O' Brien, has welcomed the decision of the government to give a six-month rates waiver to all businesses affected by a decline in business due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"This is great news for local businesses in Tullamore and throughout Offaly who have been so badly hit with the loss of business due to the impact of Covid-19," Cllr O'Brien said.
"Initially the government suggested that a deferral of rates would be offered but I felt that this was of no benefit to businesses as they would not have this money when they re-opened. The fact that all businesses will now get a 100% waiver of rates for six months will be a great benefit to them."
The six-month credit in lieu of rates will apply to all ratepayers for the period 27 March to 27 September 2020. Offaly County Council expects to be applying total credits of between €4m and €4.5m to the accounts of ratepayers under this scheme this year.
"This will be a major boost for commercial activity this year throughout Offaly. There is no need for businesses to apply for this waiver. The Council will automatically apply a 100% six-month waiver to the accounts of ratepayers for 2020," outlines Cllr O' Brien.
"I am delighted that the government listened to our representation in relation to rates and the need to support businesses, especially in rural Ireland. This waiver, together with the Restart Grant, will give a major boost to businesses at a time when they urgently need it. Businesses need to apply to the council for the Restart Grant before the end of August," Cllr O'Brien concluded.