03 Aug 2020 | 07.28 am
Extra Funding For Future Growth Loan Scheme
Long-term unsecured lending
03 Aug 2020 | 07.28 am
Enterprise minister Leo Varadkar has launched a €500m expansion to the Future Growth Loan Scheme, with funding being provided by the European Investment Bank Group.
The government launched the first €300m round of the scheme last year with c.1,150 SMEs, farmers and fishermen drawing down loans from banks participating in the scheme.
Loans of €25,000 to €3m are available at competitive rates for terms between 7 and 10 years.
Agriculture minister Dara Calleary stated: “The uptake of the Future Growth Loan Scheme by the agri-food sector has been very strong and I am aware that there has been some unfulfilled demand. Not only will the new expansion meet that demand, the evolution of the scheme will assist in meeting the new challenges being posed by COVID-19 and the ongoing challenges the sector has in dealing with Brexit.
“The unsecured nature of the funding particularly helps young and new entrant farmers, as well as smaller farmers, but it is a crucial support to all parts of the production chain – farmers, fishers, forestry and food and beverage production.”
To access the scheme, businesses must apply for eligibility through the SBCI. The application form, along with full details of the scheme, is available through the SBCI website.
Bank of Ireland, AIB and Ulster Bank are now accepting loan applications for the scheme from businesses meeting SBCI eligibility. The SBCI said is it is actively engaged with three other financial providers who responded to the open call and hopes to announce them as scheme partners in the coming weeks.
Calleary advised businesses to check the SBCI website for up to date information in relation to participating financial providers.
SBCI chief executive Nick Ashmore (pictured) commented: “The scheme, which allows SMEs to invest in innovating and expanding their business using low-cost, longer-term and more accessible funding, aligns closely with the SBCI’s objective of supporting and promoting the provision of financing to small businesses.
“With this expansion, the scheme can continue to deliver real impact and much needed support for SMEs. The addition of new partners will help to generate much needed competition in the SME finance sector.”