The Brexit Loan Scheme makes a fund of up to €300 million available to eligible Irish businesses.[i] Finance provided under the scheme is easier to access, more competitively priced, and offered at more favourable terms than other lending for such businesses.
This Department, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM)[ii], launched the scheme on 28 March 2018. It is delivered by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) through participating finance providers.
The scheme is open to both state agency/non-state agency clients.
Eligible business can now apply by:
- Completing the eligibility form and returning to the SBCI
- If SBCI assess a business as eligible, an eligibility reference number is given which is then provided to the participating finance provider (currently Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, with AIB to follow in June).
- 4% maximum interest rate (participating lenders may compete below this level)
- Terms and conditions have been designed to ensure the loans are accessible
- The loans are for up to three years
- The scheme will run for two years (March 2018 – March 2020)
- Loans range from €25,000 to €1.5 million per eligible enterprise
- Unsecured loans up to €500,000
- You may be able to avail of a three-month interest-only payment period
Loans must be used for future working capital requirements to fund innovation, change or adaptation of the business to mitigate the impact of Brexit.
Loans are provided by participating commercial lenders, subject to normal lending criteria.
Applications for scheme eligibility are cleared through the SBCI.
To be eligible, applicants must:
- Be a viable business with up to 499 employees
- Be exposed to the (current or potential) impacts of Brexit
- Meet the scheme criteria
Using a combination of Irish exchequer and EU guarantees (through the EIB Group and the InnovFin loan guarantee scheme), the scheme leverages up to €300 million of lending to Irish Enterprises at a maximum interest rate 4% at a cost to the Exchequer of €23 million (€14 million provide by Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and €9 million provided by Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine).
Further Details: Further details are available in the Brexit Loan Scheme Information Pack, linked below.
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has a number of other finance for growth schemes in place, and applications can be made at any time to the existing Credit Guarantee Scheme and Microfinance Ireland.
All businesses, whether clients of State Agencies or not, can also avail of the free Brexit Planning Tool: Prepare for Brexit SME Scorecard.
SMEs involved in manufacturing or internationally tradeable services may be interested in InterTradeIreland’s Brexit Start to Plan Voucher Scheme.
[i] Due to state aid rules, the scheme is not available to farmers and fishermen. An alternative scheme for primary producers in the agriculture sector and fishermen is currently under consideration by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
[ii] Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine share of funding ensures that at least 40% of the fund will be available to food businesses.