Assembly Written Question 10386/17-22
Question: To ask the Minister for Communities whether she will bring forward additional COVID-19 financial support for social enterprises.
Answer: The budget approved by the Executive for the CovidSocial Enterprise Fund was £7m. The fund was significantly oversubscribed and Community Finance Ireland (CFI), who were appointed to administer the fund, have now completed their individual assessment of all applications. In order to fund all applicants who were deemed eligible and assessed to be in need a further £2.25m was required. In recognition of the valuable role Social Enterprises play in our community, I bid to the Executive for these additional funds and I am delighted that this has now been approved. In addition the Department has also recently launched the £3.3million Voluntary, Community and Social Economy Sector (VCSE) Covid Recovery Fund. This fund is open to applications from VCSE organisations and allows for grant awards to support the purchase of PPE and IT to enable the safe delivery of services. Funding is being distributed by Co-operation Ireland in partnership with Rural Community Network, and will remain open for applications until 4pm on Friday 11th December 2020. The deadline for applications may be extended subject to a review of committed expenditure and availability of any remaining funds.