News and Insights

Covid-19 Business Supports


Covid-19 has caused unprecedented interruption to our daily and business lives. With business across the entire country now facing extremely challenging times, thankfully, there are a number of supports available for business owners to help you and your employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Retail Ireland Skillnet recognises these challenges and are committed to supporting our sector in the best possible way. Below we have compiled a list of some helpful links and supports that are available. 

Some of these key supports include:

The Restart Grant provides direct grant aid to micro and small businesses to help with the costs associated with reopening and reemploying workers following COVID-19 closures.

Employers will receive up to 85% of their employee’s weekly take home pay up to a maximum of €410 per week.

Non Repayable COVID 19 Biz Reopening Supports-Retail-Ireland-Skillnet

Skills & training supports:

  • The Skillnet Ireland ReBound initiative gives small businesses online training and mentoring on implementing the return to work safely protocol.
  • Reboot your Business  is a free course that will see industry experts lead a series of FREE workshops, to assist the many businesses struggling during the COVID-19 crisis. There are ten workshops, each session will cover different aspects involved in creating a business development plan.

These include:

  • Industry Analysis
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Internal Evaluation
  • Finance
  • Market Performance
  • Logistics and more

Following completion of the course, members may wish to continue to develop their business plan with mentored support.

  • The ReBound Mentoring Programme has been developed specifically for SME Owners and Managers that require dedicated one-to-one help in creating and implementing a bespoke Return to Work Safely Plan which aligns with the Government’s ‘Return to Work Safely’ Protocol.

As part of the ReBound Mentoring process, your mentor can cover a range of topics to support you in developing your Return to Work Safely Plan, including:

  • Communication plans with relevant stakeholders
  • Developing a Return-to-Work Safely Checklist
  • Putting appropriate signage and directions in place for employees
  • Developing new work schedules and social distancing rules
  • Return-to-work training plans for employees
  • Facilities management and hygiene plans
  • Developing new workplace policies (e.g. remote working)
  • Response plans for suspected cases of COVID-19
  • Rebound Webinar Training – The ReBound webinar training and information sessions are designed to help SME Owners and Managers across all sectors safely reopen their business, no matter what stage they are at in their journey. The purpose of these free webinar sessions is to equip SME owners and managers with the latest information, supports, guidance, and best-practice on implementing the Government’s ‘Return to Work Safely’ Protocol.

rebound image 3-Retail-Ireland-Skillnet

Network Rebound Initiatives

Through the ReBound – Back to Business. Safely initiative, a number of Skillnet Learning Networks are developing sector-specific responses to support. With many retail businesses having to close partially or completely due to the COVID-19, Retail Ireland Skillnet is addressing the urgent need for business owners, managers and employees to understand the new requirements and protocols related to the safe return to work and a delighted to offer a FREE suite of online courses and practical webinars designed to help both front line retail workers and retail owners/managers. These courses include:

The Return to Work Safely programme will guide workers through the national Return to Work Safely Protocol, to ensure the protection of staff, customers and other store visitors as well as reducing the potential spread of COVID-19. This course will inform and reassure workers of their responsibilities through clear explanation and access to vital resources, such as employer and employee checklists, COVID-19 response plan templates, templates for contact logging and dealing with a suspected case, as well as many others.

The COVID-19 – Guide for the Lead Worker Representative programme will inform the Lead Worker Representative of their role and responsibilities under the Return to Work Safely Protocol, in line with recommendations from the Government, HSE, HSA, and other relevant bodies. This programme enables learners to access all the information, checklists, materials and sources of support relevant to the Lead Worker Representative role, from this one place.

The Cleaning & Cleanliness in the Workplace webinar aims to help all workers understand the current cleaning and disinfection procedures that are required within the workplace in relation to COVID-19 infection prevention.

The Protecting the Business from COVID-19 webinar enables store managers or leaders to better understand their role in protecting their business, customers, staff and others from COVID-19 within their workplace. Recommendations are outlined for key requirements such as conducting risk assessments, contingency planning and effective staff communication.

The COVID-19 Defence webinar is aimed at persons responsible for cleaning within the workplace and guides learners through main themes such as cleaning standards and techniques, the safe and effective use of chemicals and cleaning plans specific to COVID-19 prevention.

For further information on this training please get in touch with us on 0749176853 or email

  •  Testing Today  was established to assist organisations across Ireland manage their response to COVID-19.  TestingToday has a unique offering for Irish business. Providing Quality Testing Solutions, a Results Tracking App to support efforts to trace and contain COVID-19, access to Health Care Professionals to administer tests, as well as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suitable for the workplace.

Offering a full testing service that is mobile and can come directly to the chosen facility. The service is further enhanced with a Covid-19 Application which allows the organisations to capture results in a compliant manner.

testing today-Retail-Ireland-Skillnet

Related information and guidance:



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