Written answers

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Equine Industry

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael)
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148. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the financial supports available to a private equestrian centre that wishes to expand its business; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43872/19]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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Across Government, we are providing a wide range of firm-level supports to ensure our businesses can start, grow and scale in Ireland. The Local Enterprise Offices are the first-stop-shop for all businesses in every county, and will be able to help guide entrepreneurs and business owners on the most appropriate supports for their circumstances. Alternatively, the full range of supports available to Irish businesses can be accessed through my Department's dedicated SME web-portal at www.supportingsmes.gov.ie.

Without more detailed information on, for example, the size of the business described or its number of employees, it is difficult to identify which specific supports may be most relevant to the business. However, it is most likely that an expansion by such a business would be suitable for funding under the Future Growth Loan Scheme, which provides funding for long-term strategic investment.

This scheme makes up to €300 million worth of loans available with a term of eight to ten years and is open to eligible Irish businesses, including those in the agriculture and seafood sectors. Finance provided under the scheme is competitively priced and has favourable terms, for example, no security is required for loans up to €500,000. Loans to businesses under the scheme can be used to fund investments in equipment, machinery, buildings and associated overhead costs for organisational and/or process innovation.

This scheme features a two-stage application process. Applications for eligibility under the scheme are made through the SBCI website. The SBCI assesses the applications and successful applicants are issued an eligibility reference number, which they can then use to apply for a loan under the scheme with one of the participating finance providers. Approval of loans is subject to the finance providers’ own credit policies and procedures.

As of 18 October, there have been 1,551 successful applications for eligibility under the scheme, of which 376 have progressed to sanction at bank level to a total value of €64.39 million.

I am committed to ensuring that every business with growth ambition has access to the most appropriate and coherent set of supports to meet their needs. To that end, my Department has recently released an Overview of Government Supports for Indigenous Businesses, which is available on my Department's website.


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