Tánaiste reopens low cost loan scheme for microenterprises
From Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation
Published at: 31 August 2020
The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, today announced that €15 million is being made available to reopen the COVID-19 Loan Fund.
Speaking today the Tánaiste said:
“We’re looking at all the ways we can support enterprise during this really difficult time. This extra money will allow Microfinance Ireland reopen the COVID-19 Loan Fund. This Fund has proven to be a lifeline for micro-enterprises over the past few months, where we’ve seen nearly 700 businesses with fewer than ten employees avail of it. We’ve set out a really significant financial package in the July Stimulus and this loan scheme is another way we’re helping businesses to re-open, stay afloat or expand.”
The Microfinance Ireland COVID-19 Loan scheme assists businesses with fewer than ten employees, which have been impacted negatively by COVID-19. It provides much-needed funding to help microenterprises meet payments for stock, working capital requirements and other overhead expenses through the provision of low-cost lending facilities, which include a six-month repayment free moratorium and the equivalent of one year interest free (subject to terms and conditions) with rates as low as 4.5% for the remaining period of the loan.
The Tánaiste recently introduced the Microenterprise Loan Fund (Amendment) Bill to provide for the increased funding.
The COVID-19 Loan scheme has seen a very strong uptake in recent months, with €18.6 million sanctioned to 683 businesses up to 31 July 2020. This represents three years of normal lending volumes for MFI in a period of just over four months. Importantly, with 79% of MFI’s lending to businesses outside Dublin, MFI provides an essential support for businesses who are hoping to reboot their economic activity over the coming weeks and months in every county in Ireland.
Companies interested in applying or finding out more information can contact Microfinance Ireland read more here.
- Any business (Sole Trader, Partnership or Limited Company) with less than 10 employees and annual turnover of up to €2m and was trading prior to the coronavirus pandemic in Ireland
- Unable to secure finance from the Bank or commercial lending provider
- The business has been impacted by COVID19 resulting in a 15% or more reduction in turnover or profit.