On 28 March, the Brexit Loan Scheme was launched by Ministers Paschal Donohoe, Heather Humphries and Michael Creed. It provides a low-cost borrowing option for companies impacted by Brexit – something that the SFA has been calling for since the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016.
The Brexit Loan Scheme is a total fund of €300 million. It is open to companies with up to 499 employees and is delivered by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) through Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank initially, with AIB joining the scheme in June.
Welcoming the launch of the scheme, SFA Director, Sven Spollen-Behrens, stated: “The UK’s vote to leave the EU has already posed considerable challenges to Irish businesses and significant further difficulties may be coming down the tracks. This scheme is an important element of Ireland’s response to Brexit. It will allow small firms to borrow for working capital or investment at low interest rates, ensuring businesses that are viable in the long-term can survive the challenges ahead. I welcome the fact that the borrowing will be unsecured for loans up to €500,000. Close monitoring, however, will be required to ensure the scheme’s impact on small businesses is maximised. With loans of up to €1,500,000 available and companies with up to 499 employees eligible to apply, the €300 million could dry up very quickly”.
Features of the Brexit Loan Scheme:
- Loans can be used for working capital or to fund innovation, change or adaptation to mitigate the impact of Brexit
- 40% of the fund is ring fenced for food businesses
- Loan amount: €25,000 - €1,500,000
- Loan term: up to three years
- Loans less than €500,000 will be unsecured
- Interest rate: 4% or less
The first step in applying for the scheme is to complete an eligibility application form from the SBCI. A decision will be made within a few days and you will receive an eligibility clearance letter if deemed eligible for the scheme. This can then be presented to one of the participating banks as part of their credit application process.
More information about the scheme and the Brexit and eligibility criteria can be found on the SBCI website.
If you would like to discuss access to finance, access to government supports or the impact of Brexit on your business, contact Linda Barry, SFA Assistant Director, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 605 1626.