Emergency funding announced for small businesses affected by flooding in Laois

A clean-up operation is underway in Mountmellick today after extensive flooding yesterday

Emergency funding announced for small businesses affected by flooding in Laois

Image: Stephanie Grogan

An emergency assistance scheme has been announced for small businesses & community organisations impacted by flooding this week.

It comes as a massive clean-up operation is underway in Mountmellick in Co Laois following extensive flooding yesterday

Homes and businesses in the town have been badly affected after three rivers burst their banks.

The Government says the humanitarian funding will go towards the costs of returning small business (with up to 20 employees), sport and community premises to their "pre-flood condition" - including replacing floors, fixtures, fittings and damaged stock.

The first stage of the scheme, which is getting underway immediately, will offer funding of up to €5,000.

A second stage will make additional funding - with a cap of €20,000 for both stages - available for businesses more severely damaged.

Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe, explained: "The Government has moved to have this scheme operational as quickly as possible and in a manner which is designed to be straight forward to best assist those who have been affected.

"The Irish Red Cross will administer and make payments under the scheme."

He added: "My thoughts are with the people who are suffering as a result of this flooding event. The humanitarian scheme will go some way to alleviating the hardship suffered by small businesses, sports clubs and community organisations and assist them in getting back up and running."

35 families were evacuated in Mountmellick by Laois County Council yesterday, while army personnel are today providing assistance along with local emergency services.