Government opens €300m Brexit Loan Scheme

Government opens €300m Brexit Loan Scheme”

Firms affected by the looming Brexit can avail of loans up to €1.5m at rates of 4pc or less.

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) will assess businesses for Brexit Loan Scheme eligibility from Wednesday.

In last October's budget, €14m was secured by the then-business minister - together with €9m by the agriculture minister for the loan scheme.

Details of the plan were announced on the day that applications for a €300 million Brexit loan scheme officially opened for applications.

Earlier this year, current Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD; Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed, TD; and Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe, TD, signed a counter-guarantee agreement backed by the EC through the European Investment Fund.

"The objective of this fund is to provide support for Irish companies to allow them to accelerate the diversification of their business and make changes to their business model", said Mr Donohoe.

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"Eligible businesses can now apply for the Scheme through the participating finance providers: the Scheme is open through Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, with AIB following in June".

"It will give SMEs time and the financial support to make the necessary changes to help ensure that their businesses remain competitive so that they can continue to grow into the future".

"The Government is putting relatively little money into the scheme as it is leveraged by the European Investment Bank".

Ms Humphreys said the initiative had the potential to help more than 5,000 Irish companies.

"We want to help businesses navigate through the difficulties of Brexit", she said.

Director of the Small Firms Association, Sven Spollen-Behrens, has welcomed the initiative: "The UK's vote to leave the European Union has already posed considerable damages to small businesses in Ireland and significant further difficulties might be coming down the tracks".

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