Saturday 1 October 2016

How businesswoman fought back to expand when bank refused loan

Published 23/02/2016 | 17:31

Sharon Farrell, owner of the Fun Galaxy Playcentres
Sharon Farrell, owner of the Fun Galaxy Playcentres

Entrepreneur Sharon Farrell, owner of the Fun Galaxy Playcentres was “shocked” when a loan to expand was denied, but she fought back and Ireland’s Credit Review Office subsequently helped her to realise her business ambitions and get the decision overturned.

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The mother and businesswoman had dreamed of owning her own business since childhood.  In 2007, she realised her lifelong dream when she opened the doors of the Fun Galaxy Playcentre for children.

Her business began to show growth and the idea of expansion became a very real possibility.  In 2010, Sharon went ahead and requested a loan from the bank.  She was “shocked and disappointed” when the loan was ultimately denied. 

Sharon then contacted the Credit Review Office, who examined her case in detail and recommended that the bank grant her business the finance needed.  “The Credit Review Office were very hands on”, she states.

“The Credit Review Office got the decision overturned when we couldn’t get the loan to expand,” she explains.  Advising other business owners in a similar position she states:  “If, like us, you’ve been denied a loan for a viable business, the Credit Review Office can help change that decision”.

The help from the Credit Review Office has made it possible for Sharon to finally expand her Fun Galaxy business and she now employs 78 people in Ashbourne, Co. Meath and Swords, Co. Dublin.  “The Credit Review Office were genuinely interested in getting our business to a better place”.

So how can the Credit Review Office help your business today?

Ireland’s Credit Review Office provides an independent review process for SME businesses that have had bank loan or credit applications denied from participating banks.   Banks currently part of the review process are Bank of Ireland, AIB, and Ulster Bank, while PTSB will join shortly. 

The Credit Review Office cannot guarantee success in every case, but it has overturned approximately 50% of the banking decisions that have applied for an appeal since 2010.

Who is eligible for help?

You may be eligible if:

• You have an SME business with less than 250 employees with a turnover of less than €50 million.

• You have been declined for credit of up to €3 million

• If your business has had an unfavourable change to existing credit terms and conditions.

You can also check your eligibility here.

If you are the owner of an SME or a sole-trader who has been refused credit, the Credit Review Office can help to get that decision turned around just like the case of Sharon Farrell from FunGalaxy. 

The process is independent, easy to complete and covers all applications for new loans or existing credit facilities.  You can download or submit an application form or give them a call on 1850211789.

Sponsored by: CarsIreland

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