A new €2 billion COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme has been launched by the Government to provide Irish businesses, including those in the farming and fishing sectors, with access to low cost loans as they respond to the impacts of COVID-19.
This scheme will provide low cost loans from €10,000 to €1 million to businesses, in addition to the grants that are already available. Businesses can apply directly to a participating bank. Under the scheme the Government will provide an 80% guarantee for the loan.
Loans provided under the scheme range from €10,000 to €1 million. Interest rates will vary depending on the loan, however they will be lower than would otherwise be available in the market. To apply for the scheme, businesses can contact a participating finance provider directly.
The scheme is operated by the SBCI and delivered through participating finance providers, allowing affected businesses to access additional financing through traditional lenders. Initially, the scheme’s focus is on term loans, but support for other loan products may be added in the future such as overdraft facilities and working capital lending.
Commenting on the iniative, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath said, "The scheme being launched today will expand the range of liquidity options available for businesses and needs to be seen alongside the range of other measures the Government has introduced to support businesses."
He added, "These measures will support SMEs to keep going through this difficult economic period and also signal to business owners that we have the confidence to back them. We also look forward to seeing the lending channels for this scheme being extended to also include non-bank lenders."