WEXFORD County Enterprise Board is currently inviting applications for funding from small businesses who have been refused credit by banks.
Under a new Government scheme, operated by Microfinance Ireland, the owners of ' micro-enterprises' and new start-ups can now apply through the board for loans of up to €25,000.
The scheme is aimed at existing and start-up businesses with less than 10 employees and a turnover of less than €2 million. Loans can be used towards business start-up costs, expansion plans or general working capital.
Nationwide, the tenyear scheme is expected to assist 5,500 microenterprises, helping to create an estimated 7,700 jobs.
To be eligible to apply for a loan, Microfinance Ireland has said that small business owners must have a commercially viable business proposal and must have been turned down for credit by a bank. In those cases, business owners and new start-ups are being encouraged to talk to Wexford County Enterprise Board, who will assist them with the application process. Where assistance with the application process is not required, existing businesses and start-ups may apply directly to Microfinance Ireland, through www. microfinanceireland.ie
Welcoming the roll-out of the scheme across the country, the Chairperson of Microfinance Ireland, Ms. Geraldine Kelly, said: 'Over the ten years of this scheme, we hope to provide up to €90 million in lending to micro-enterprises and new start-ups across Ireland, helping to create and sustain jobs locally in those businesses.'