Ireland creates €300m Brexit loan scheme for businesses

28 Mar 2018549 Views

Image: Mohamed Monem/Shutterstock

Firms affected by the looming Brexit can avail of loans up to €1.5m at rates of 4pc or less.

In preparing businesses for the upheavals to be caused by Britain’s departure from the EU, Ireland has created a €300m loan scheme.

The Brexit Loan Scheme has the potential to help more than 5,000 businesses impacted by Brexit to prepare.

‘This €300m Brexit Loan Scheme is one of a number of supports that the Government has put in place to help companies prepare’

It will be open to eligible businesses with up to 499 employees from today (28 March).

The loan scheme, which will be open through Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, with AIB following in June, will provide loans of up to €1.5m at a rate of 4pc or less.

The scheme is being delivered in a partnership between the Government of Ireland, the European Investment Bank and the European Commission (EC).

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

In last October’s budget, €14m was secured by the then Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, together with €9m by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, for the Brexit Loan Scheme.

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Earlier this year, current Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD; Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed, TD; and Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe, TD, signed a counter-guarantee agreement backed by the EC through the European Investment Fund.

Through this, the €23m secured in Budget 2018 can be leveraged to provide €300m to Irish businesses affected by Brexit.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s share of funding ensures that at least 40pc of the fund will be available to food businesses.

“Coming from a business background, I am acutely aware of the challenges that Brexit poses to firms,” Humphreys said.

“This €300m Brexit Loan Scheme is one of a number of supports that the Government has put in place to help companies prepare.

“The scheme will provide much-needed finance to eligible business impacted by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. I am confident that it will make a real difference to firms, enabling them to adapt, change and innovate.

“This, in turn, will help them to become more competitive – a fundamental trait in any resilient business,” Humphreys added.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years