Ireland launches €200m scheme to help firms impacted by Ukraine crisis

27 Oct 2022

Leo Varadkar at the European People's Party (EPP) Zagreb Congress in Croatia, 2019. Image: EPP (CC by 2.0)

The Ukraine Enterprise Crisis Scheme aims to assist manufacturers and exporters impacted by the ongoing conflict and rising energy costs.

The Irish Government has launched a new €200m scheme to help businesses impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

First announced in Budget 2023, the Ukraine Enterprise Crisis Scheme has been established to assist “viable but vulnerable firms” in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors.

The €200m scheme will have two streams of funding. The first will assist businesses that have liquidity problems as a result of the conflict. This will offer up to €500,000 in grants, repayable advances, equity and/or loans.

The second stream will help companies impacted by severe rises in energy costs. It is designed for “energy-intensive businesses” that had energy costs worth at least 3pc of their turnover prior to the crisis. This stream will offer grants of up to €2m for costs incurred between February and December 2022.

The new scheme was launched today (27 October) by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath, TD.

Varadkar said that many businesses are “very worried” heading into winter due to rising costs, higher interest rates and waning consumer confidence.

“The war on Ukraine is driving up energy and commodity prices and it’s making it harder to get certain materials,” Varadkar added. “The Ukraine Enterprise Crisis Scheme will help businesses competing internationally and suffering the broader effects of the war in Ukraine as well as increasing energy costs.

“It will assist companies most exposed to the significant increases in energy costs largely driven by Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and other negative effects of this crisis. This particular scheme will not be limited to agency client companies but will be limited to manufacturers and exporters.”

Varadkar said the Cabinet has also approved the publication of legislation to unlock up to €1.2bn in low-cost loans. These loans are designed for SMEs and small mid-caps – with up to 500 employees – under the Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme.

This credit scheme is expected to open before the end of the year, providing low-cost unsecured working capital for SMEs and primary producers. The Government said this is designed to help them spread increased input costs and limit disruption to supply chains.

“It is important that our supports are wide ranging and can deal with challenges across a number of fronts including falling operating margins, difficulties with supply chains and energy costs,” McGrath said.

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Leo Varadkar at the European People’s Party (EPP) Zagreb Congress in Croatia, 2019. Image: EPP via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic