55 agri-food companies have received €13m under Brexit loan scheme

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Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

New figures show that 55 agri-food companies have received €12.91m in funding through the Department of Agriculture's Brexit Loan Scheme.

The Brexit Loan Scheme provides affordable working capital to eligible businesses with up to 499 employees that are or will be impacted by Brexit and meet the scheme criteria.

There is €23m in exchequer funding available to such businesses and the Minister for Agriculture recently confirmed that a fund of up to €300m is available.

The Scheme has been designed to assist eligible Irish businesses in the short-term to deal with the challenges of Brexit, which include the pressures of increased market instability and currency volatility.

The Scheme was launched in March this year and will remain open until 31st March 2020, or until it is fully subscribed.

By December 3, there have been 312 applications received, with 274 deemed eligible. Some 55 have loans progressed to sanction at finance provider level with a value of €12.91m.

This equates to an average loan value of €235,000.

According to the SBCI quarterly report, issued on October 2, 2018, there were 26 food-related loan applications approved under the Scheme.

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Meanwhile, the Brexit loan scheme for farmers, that was announced in Budget 2019, is expected to be ready to launch in early 2019. The Scheme will run for three years from its launch date.

The fund is leveraged by exchequer funding of €62m, of which 40pc or some €25m will be provided by the Department of Agriculture.

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