Tuesday 12 November 2019

AIB pledges €75m to SME and agri business loan support scheme

AIB was one of two initial finance providers who agreed to participate in the scheme. Photo: Shane O’Neill / SON Photographic
AIB was one of two initial finance providers who agreed to participate in the scheme. Photo: Shane O’Neill / SON Photographic
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

AIB has announced it is making an additional €75m available as part of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland's (SBCI) Future Growth Loan Scheme, which is designed to provide support to SME and agri businesses.

It follows both Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland announcing they were accepting applications to their loan funds, after the Future Growth Loan Scheme was rolled out in April, with €300m in funding open to applications.

AIB was one of two initial finance providers who agreed to participate in the scheme.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys said there had been "very strong demand for the Future Growth Loan Scheme from businesses since it was launched earlier this year".

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Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed said the loan funding would help meet the "significant demand from farmers, the seafood sector and food businesses for investment finance".

He said: "This is particularly important for young and new-entrant farmers, especially those who do not have high levels of security. It will also serve smaller-scale farmers, who often do not have the leverage to negotiate for more favourable terms with their banks."

Loans vary from €100,000 to a maximum of €3m per SME applicant, and €50,000 to a maximum of €3m for agri applicants.

Businesses looking to avail of the scheme through AIB will be able to do so from November 9.

It is a Government-backed scheme offered by the SBCI in conjunction with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation; the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; the European Investment Bank; and the European Investment Fund.

It benefits from a guarantee from the EU under the European Fund for Strategic Investments.

Irish Independent

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