Increased Cost of Business Grants: Support for SMEs Amidst Rising Expenses

In a move aimed at alleviating the financial burden on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Government has approved a substantial package of €257 million for the Increased Cost of Business (ICOB) Grant as part of Budget 2024. Managed by Wexford County Council and funded through the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment (DETE), this grant is poised to offer critical assistance to qualifying businesses grappling with escalating expenses.

The ICOB Grant, a one-time payment, is designed to mitigate the impact of rising costs faced by businesses across various sectors. However, it’s important to note that this grant does not constitute a Commercial Rates waiver, and businesses are expected to continue fulfilling their financial obligations as usual.

Purpose and Allocation of the Grant

The primary objective of the ICOB Grant is to provide financial relief to eligible businesses contending with heightened operational expenses. While it aims to assist businesses in managing their financial challenges, it is not intended to fully offset increases in wages or other operational costs.

The amount of the grant awarded to eligible businesses is determined by the value of the Commercial Rates bill they received in 2023.

Here’s how the grant is structured:

– Businesses with a 2023 Commercial Rates bill of less than €10,000 will receive a grant equivalent to 50% of their Commercial Rates bill for that year.
– Qualifying businesses with a 2023 Commercial Rates bill ranging between €10,000 and €30,000 will be awarded a fixed grant of €5,000.
– Businesses with a 2023 Commercial Rates bill exceeding €30,000 are ineligible for the ICOB Grant.

Eligibility Criteria and Application Process

To qualify for the grant, businesses must meet specific criteria, including:

– Operating as a commercially trading business from a rateable property.
– Being in operation as of February 1st, 2024, with an intention to continue trading for at least three months from the date of verification.
– Providing accurate bank details and demonstrating compliance with Commercial Rates and tax obligations.

Wexford County Council reserves the right to retract any grant payments found to be incorrect due to errors in declaration or verification.

Availment and Closing Dates

An online platform is currently under development to facilitate the submission of essential information. Wexford County Council will communicate further details to businesses, including registration procedures and information submission guidelines. The system is anticipated to go live in mid-March, with a closing date for eligibility confirmation and information submission set for May 1st, 2024.

Further Information and Support

For additional guidance and updates, businesses are advised to monitor forthcoming communications from Wexford County Council. An FAQ section will also be available online once the grant scheme is operational. Questions and queries regarding the grant can be directed to

As SMEs navigate the economic landscape characterized by mounting costs, the ICOB Grant stands as a beacon of support, offering much-needed relief to businesses striving to maintain their operations amidst financial challenges.