Saturday 15 December 2018

Cheap 'Brexit loans' must be at least €25,000

The scheme is being operated via the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), through commercial lenders. Nick Ashmore is its Chief Executive.
The scheme is being operated via the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), through commercial lenders. Nick Ashmore is its Chief Executive.

Colm Kelpie

Small businesses will have to take out a loan of at least €25,000 to qualify for the Government-backed Brexit loan scheme announced in the Budget.

The scheme, available to firms employing up to 500 staff, will also only be open until 2020.

The aim of the €300m scheme is to provide working capital at rates of around 4pc to small- and medium-sized businesses that are either impacted by Brexit, or believe they will be in the future.

The scheme is being operated via the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), through commercial lenders.

The State, in conjunction with the European Investment Bank, will provide the guarantee for the loans, rather than liquidity.

The Government said the minimum loan size will be €25,000, and that while the maximum loan size is still under review, it will be over €1m.

"Given this variance in potential loan size, an average loan size and the number of businesses availing of those loans is difficult to forecast," said Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, in response to a query from Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan.

"Further details of the scheme will be provided over the coming weeks. SBCI will issue an open call inviting lending institutions to participate before the end of October.

"The scheme is expected to be in place early in the new year.

"It is anticipated that the scheme will remain open until 2020."

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