• Low cost loans for SMEs
  • Up to €1 million available

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar T.D., Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe T.D., Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath T.D. and Minister for Agriculture and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., today (Monday the 7th of September) opened the new €2 billion COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme to provide Irish businesses, including those in the farming and fishing sectors, with access to low cost loans as they respond to the impacts of COVID-19.

This is the biggest ever state-backed loan guarantee in Ireland. The Government is using its good credit rating to help Irish businesses borrow more cheaply. Most Irish SMEs have no debt and others may not want to take on more debt. Nonetheless, this will be another weapon in the armoury when it comes to responding to the economic damage wrought by COVID-19.

The Tánaiste said:

“The past few months have been extremely difficult for Irish businesses. We have seen our small and medium enterprises work hard to adapt and to continue trading in the face of this profound disruption. The Government is determined to help businesses as they operate in a fundamentally changed trading environment.

“This scheme will provide low cost loans from €10,000 to €1 million to businesses, in addition to the grants that are already available. Businesses can apply directly to a participating bank. Under the scheme the Government will provide an 80% guarantee for the loan. This unprecedented measure will ensure businesses have access to the finance they need at this unprecedented time.”

The Credit Guarantee Scheme is a key part of the Government’s July Stimulus package, a €7.4bn package of measures designed to stimulate a jobs-led recovery and build economic confidence while continuing to manage the impact of Covid-19.The scheme offers an 80% Government guarantee to participating banks to provide low interest loans to eligible SMEs for up to six years.

Loans provided under the scheme range from €10,000 to €1 million. Interest rates will vary depending on the loan, however they will be lower than would otherwise be available in the market. To apply for the scheme, businesses can contact a participating finance provider directly.

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