The Government has signed off on a €6.5bn package of new supports to help businesses reopen as Covid-19 restrictions are slowly lifted.
Speaking at a Government press briefing, Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe said it was to help businesses in the "gradual recovery phase".
"Today the Government has now agreed further supports to rebuild jobs and rebuild businesses as our public health guidance changes," he added.
The minister said these new measures would build on what has already been done to help businesses.
"They involve up to €2bn in guaranteed loans to help our small and medium businesses and enterprises.
"Up to €2bn of equity and other investment available to medium and larger companies through re-purposing and changing the role of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund or ISEF. Certainty and support for businesses and up to €2bn of deferred taxes.
"The waiving of €260 million of commercial rates and the new restart fund for micro and small businesses."
However, over €4 billion worth of the supports package cannot be rolled out until a new government is formed.
Mr Donohoe confirmed at the briefing that the €2bn credit guarantee scheme and the €2bn tax deferrals will require new legislation to implement.
This is not possible until a new government is formed, and an incoming Taoiseach needs to appoint 11 Senators so the upper house can pass legislation.
Mr Donohoe said: "This is the reason why we are engaging with other parties to try to form a government".
He said they could prepare to set up the funds but legislation would be required.
Mr Donohoe said these measures are integrated as firstly they provide small, medium and large businesses access to significant funds to support their recovery. And secondly they will give certainty on an extended repayment period of deferred taxes, which he thinks will help.
He described them as "significant" measures which will help in rebuilding the economy.
Massive interventions have already been implemented to help businesses during a "time of great threat" in the challenges posed by Covid-19, Mr Donohoe added.
He said the Government has always been open and clear in relation to measures and guidance relating to Covid-19 and it has taken the same approach with regard to the country's "economic health."
He said due to public health choices the economic impact has been severe, and unprecedented in terms of scale and speed.
However, he said we can rebuild and renew our economy and he is confident we will.
"We have already set out government supports during the mitigation and stabilisation phases of this pandemic. Supports that have been implemented have been vital for so many homes and businesses," Mr Donohoe added.
The measures include
It comes after the Government yesterday set out its road map on easing the Covid-19 restrictions.
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys said the Government's road map sets out a pathway in "getting Ireland back to work" from 18 May.
Also speaking at today's briefing, she said businesses now need to focus on what is within their control and make plans in accordance with the timeframe the government has set out.
"I strongly encourage them to engage with State agencies so they can get the guidance and advice they need on what steps they can take now to ensure their workplace is safe to open whenever the time comes."
She said the last few weeks have seen some of the darkest days ever for Irish businesses but there is now some light at the end of the tunnel.
"If we continue to work together and keep Covid-19 under control, then by 10 August all businesses can open their doors again. My message to businesses, is the government is here to help you."
She said the package of measures the Government announced today is in addition to the measures that were brought in three weeks ago.
She said they include grants, loans' right off of commercial rates and the deferral of tax liabilities.
Ms Humphreys said the announcement of the Restart Fund via the local authorities will help small businesses in towns and villages meet fixed costs.
The plan sets out five stages for unlocking restrictions, at three-week intervals. From next Tuesday 5 May,
The road map will kick in on 18 May and here's what is scheduled to happen in each stage:
Phase 1 (18 May)
Phase 2 (8 June)
Phase 3 (29 June)
Phase 4 (20 July)
Phase 5 (10 August)