Christmas Bonus will be paid to Kerry social welfare & PUP recipients this year – Griffin Deputy Government Chief Whip, Brendan Griffin TD said: “I am pleased to say that the full Christmas Bonus will be paid to social welfare recipients in Kerry the week beginning 7th December. This year, due to the challenges of COVID-19, the Christmas bonus will also be paid to recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. “This was confirmed to me by my colleague the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, who has announced the details of the largest ever Christmas Bonus. “As always, people on long term social welfare benefits such as pensioners, people with disabilities, carers and lone parents will receive the 100% Christmas bonus. “Those who have been in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) continuously or otherwise – for at least 4 months (17 weeks) since March will also receive the Christmas Bonus this year. “Minister Humphreys has also taken care to ensure that anyone returning to work next week as restrictions ease, will not be excluded from the Christmas Bonus. Any person in receipt of PUP for any one day from Friday 27th November to Thursday 3rd December will still receive the Christmas Bonus provided they also meet the 17 week requirement. So anyone returning to work this Monday or Tuesday will still receive the Christmas Bonus as they worked at least one day during the said period. “The same criteria is also being applied to those on Jobseeker’s payments, who in previous years would have only received the Bonus if they had been out of work for at least 15 months”, Deputy Griffin concluded. Announcing the record Christmas Bonus, Minister Humphreys urged people to spend it locally in order to support small businesses: “Christmas brings many extra financial pressures and I am particularly pleased to provide a 100% Christmas Bonus this year for over 1.6 million people. “I would strongly encourage people to spend their Christmas Bonus locally this year and support our local shops and businesses in our towns and villages throughout the country. This will be a €390 million injection into the Irish economy at a time when many small businesses will be reopening their doors as restrictions are eased.” ENDS For further information please contact Brendan on 087-6528841 Notes for Editor A 100% Christmas Bonus will be paid in December 2020 to recipients of long-term Social Welfare payments (minimum payment of €20). People in receipt of the following payments will receive the Bonus: • State Pensions and Widow’s/Widower’s/Surviving Civil Partner’s Pensions • Invalidity Pension, Blind Pension, Disability Allowance, Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, Partial Capacity Benefit, Disablement Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance and Guardian’s payments • One-Parent Family Payment, Long-term Jobseeker’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Transition Payment, Deserted Wife’s Benefit and Allowance and Farm Assist • Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, Community Employment, Rural Social Scheme, TÚS, Gateway and Job Initiative, Supplementary Welfare Allowance, Daily Expenses Allowance, Magdalene Commission Scheme • On an exceptional basis this year, recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and equivalent recipients of Jobseeker’s Payments who have been on these payments for four months or more.

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Kerry businesses should apply for new Brexit loan as transition period nears an end – Griffin Small businesses in Kerry should apply for a new loan to help them prepare for Britain’s exit from the single market and customs union at the end of this year, Deputy Government Chief Whip, Brendan Griffin TD has said. Deputy Griffin said, “I know that Brexit will be challenging for businesses and they want to be prepared, so I welcome the opening of this new scheme by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar T.D. “The new Microfinance Ireland (MFI) Brexit Business Loan, will provide up to €25,000 to businesses whose turnover already is or is likely to fall 15% or more or if the business has a short term cashflow need as a result of Brexit. Loans are available for between six months and three years. “Any business, including a Sole Trader, Partnership or Limited Company, with less than 10 employees and annual turnover of up to €2 million can apply, where they are unable to secure finance from a Bank or commercial lending provider. “Kerry businesses can apply though their Local Enterprise Office Network or can apply directly to Microfinance Ireland (MFI). “There are less than 50 days until the end of the transition period on 31 December. It is urgent that all businesses large and small in Kerry now revisit their readiness plans. “From 1 January, the UK will no longer apply the rules of the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union. This means that any business that moves goods from, to or through Great Britain will be subject to a range of customs formalities, SPS checks and other regulatory requirements that do not apply to such trade today. “There is now an extensive range of training material and information available online on the Government’s new Brexit Information Hub to help businesses prepare for Brexit and the lasting change that it will bring. The hub can be accessed via Gov.ie/getbrexitready,” Deputy Griffin said. Announcing details of the scheme, Minister Varadkar said: “I know it’s been a really hard year, especially for our small, local businesses and imminent Brexit feels like another bodyblow on the way. This new loan is just one of the ways we are helping business to prepare. “It will provide low cost finance of up to €25,000 and business owners can apply through MFI. 77% of MFI’s lending is to businesses outside of Dublin, which is important as businesses all over Ireland will feel the negative effects of Brexit. “If you are a business owner and are wondering where to start, I’d recommend filling out our Brexit Readiness Checker first and having a look at what needs to be done in your business. Then please reach out and use the help that’s there.” ENDS Notes to Editors: Product Features • Loans from €5,000 – €25,000* • Loan Terms from six months to three years** (shorter terms depending on purpose) • Interest rate of 4.5% APR if submitted through the Local Enterprise Office Network or other referral partners, or 5.5% APR if you apply directly • No fees/charges or any hidden costs • Fixed repayments with no penalty for early repayment * The maximum credit exposure for all MFI borrowings is €25,000 **Depending on the term of the loan, interest only repayments for three months may apply in line with our standard products Who can apply? • Any business* (Sole Trader, Partnership or Limited Company) with less than 10 employees and annual turnover of up to €2m • Unable to secure finance from a Bank or commercial lending provider • Business turnover is or potentially could be impacted by a minimum of 15% or the business has a short term cashflow need as a result of Brexit. * While Businesses involved in Alcohol Production are deemed to be an excluded sector for MFI Loans, they are eligible to apply for an MFI Brexit Loan For further information please contact Brendan on 087-6528841

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Funding Injection for Kerry Towns & Villages • Welcome funding of €687,505 for Spa, Milltown, Castleisland, Ballybunion, Rathmore & Portmagee Statement by Brendan Griffin TD (FG) Kerry Friday, January 8th, 2021 Kerry Fine Gael TD and Deputy Government Chief Whip, Brendan Griffin, is this morning (Friday) welcoming a Government funding injection of almost €700,000 for six Kerry towns and villages. Allocated under the “Town and Village Renewal Scheme” by the Department of Social Protection and Rural Affairs, the funding will go towards projects in Spa, Milltown, Castleisland, Ballybunion, Rathmore and Portmagee. In Spa Village, over €96,000 will go towards a new footpath to link the village safely to the Tralee Bay Coastal Amenity Trail. In Milltown, over €94,000 will be spent to upgrade the historic square and for a scoping study on the development of a Business Innovation Hub. In Castleisland, over €96,000 will go towards implementing Phase 1 of an Urban Connectivity project and a study on the future use for derelict and vacant properties in the town. In Ballybunion, €100,000 will go towards improved signage and parking capacity for visitors. In Rathmore, €100,000 will go towards undergrounding ESB wires in advance of a safety scheme due to commence early this year. Finally, in Portmagee, €200,000 will go towards public realm improvements and undergrounding of utility wires, including the provision of EV charging, WiFi Access points and information points. Deputy Griffin says the funding is very important to the six towns and villages and is a welcome addition to money already invested by the Government in numerous rural towns and villages in Kerry over the last few years. In a debate in the Dáil in December with Minister for Rural Affairs, Heather Humphreys, Deputy Griffin raised the importance of continued funding for Kerry under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and highlighted the cumulative impact of regular funding injections for rural areas from other schemes such as Clár, ORIS, Rural Regeneration and Leader. He says he will continue to lobby hard on behalf of all Kerry applications for funding from Central Government and hopes to see further investment in the county in the near future. ENDS Note: Spa: €96,705 Milltown: €94,500 Castleisland: €96,300 Ballybunion: €100,000 Rathmore: €100,000 Portmagee: €200,000