Over 320 businesses in Meath awarded SME Grants by County Meath Chamber, funded by Facebook

Over 320 businesses in Meath awarded SME Grants by County Meath Chamber, funded by Facebook

Sole traders and SMEs in retail, hospitality, leisure, recreation and professional services across Meath to get assistance from Facebook

County Meath Chamber has announced that over 320 businesses in Meath will receive funding as part of the Covid-19 Support Fund for SMEs funded by Facebook.

The initiative sees €250,000 distributed among a range of businesses based in the county.

Facebook has been part of the Meath community since they broke ground on their Clonee Data Centre in 2016.

In just two weeks, County Meath Chamber received over 400 applications from businesses right across the county of Meath from sole traders to medium sized companies and from sectors including retail, hospitality, leisure, recreation and professional services.

The fund aims to support businesses applying innovative solutions to respond to the challenge of Covid-19. This approach recognises the huge efforts made by the business community to find new ways of operating within the limits imposed by health restrictions.

“We had an overwhelmingly positive response in Meath Chamber to this grant, generously funded by Facebook.

“It is a clear indication of the challenges and financial pressures that small and medium sized businesses are experiencing in dealing with Covid-19. Grants were distributed to those disproportionally affected by the pandemic.

‘We succeeded in connecting with and supporting businesses in every corner of Meath and we are very grateful to Facebook for this opportunity. The maximum grant received was €1,000”. Paula McCaul CEO of County Meath Chamber commented.

Mark Hunter, Site Manager of Facebook’s Clonee Data Centre commented, “SMEs are the backbone of the economy, and they also sit at the heart of the local community.

“As part of this community, we’re absolutely delighted to support businesses in Meath. It’s been an incredibly challenging time and we hope that this funding will help small businesses get back up and running as we continue to adapt to Covid-19.”

Joe English, Head of Enterprise at Meath County Council welcomed this very generous initiative from Facebook and Meath Chamber adding that “it is a very welcome support to the local SME sector, to add to the various Covid related supports from Meath Chamber, the Local Enterprise Office and the Re-Start grants from Meath County Council”.

In addition to financial support County Meath Chamber offered all applicants an opportunity to connect with Meath Chamber for ongoing advice and a package of supports which the Chamber offers to businesses across County Meath. “Never has it been more important for business to stay connected” says Paula McCaul – “Don’t forget that County Meath Chamber are here to help your business, every step of the way!”

Facebook’s business team also hosted a series of free online webinars and provided information on how to boost digital skills, build resilience and be inspired by fellow entrepreneurs.

An independent assessment panel, convened by County Meath Chamber, consisted of Joe English, Head of Enterprise, Kevin Stewart, then Director of Services Meath County Council, Bill Sweeney, Secretary of County Meath Chamber, and Fintan Hogan, Hogan Farm SMB Owner, to assess the applications against the criteria.

Pictured: Mark Hunter, Manager Facebook Clonee with Paula McCaul, Chief Executive, County Meath Chamber and John V Farrelly, President of County Meath Chamber.