Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
473. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of applicants and participants in Brexit schemes and supports provided by her Department or agencies under her remit in tabular form; and the amount allocated and expended to each such scheme in each year since being established. [3691/20]
Brexit remains a top priority and my Department and its agencies have put in place a broad suite of schemes, supports and advisory resources to encourage and help businesses to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period.
Brexit has been and will remain central to my decision-making in the allocation of my Departments budget. I secured for my Department an additional €15m Current and €63 million capital funding in Budget 2019 and a further €9 million in current funding and €12 million in capital funding in Budget 2020. These resources have allowed me to increase allocations across the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), Enterprise Ireland (EI), and InterTradeIreland (ITI) to establish and continue to fund Brexit-related schemes and provide services. Furthermore, €6.4 million of the increase to my Department’s current budget in 2020 will allow for additional resources to be provided to the Department’s regulatory bodies and its enterprise agencies to continue to prepare for a post-Brexit environment, in whatever form it may take, by expanding and further developing the suite of available supports.
My Department's funding allocation to the LEOs has been increased from €33 million in 2018 to €38.2 million in 2020. This increase is being used to support micro-enterprises in becoming more competitive and better able to cope with the changing environment in which they are operating. The LEOs are active across all counties and are working with enterprises across a broad range of sectors to ensure that they are informed about Brexit and have plans in place to manage new trading relationships on the island and with the UK more generally. To date, there have been 7,040 participants at LEO Brexit Information Events and 1,381 mentoring participants focused solely on Brexit. There have also been 1,720 participants in the customs training programme that the LEOs have rolled out for all businesses, exporters and importers, in conjunction with EI.
My Department's funding allocation to EI has been increased from €273 million in 2018 to €282 million in 2020. Whilst these increases are not focused solely on Brexit, they are mainly provided to assist the enterprise agencies in their responses to the challenges posed by the UK's withdrawal from the EU. For example, I was pleased to announce an additional capital allocation of €2.75 million to EI in 2019 to start developing regional innovation and technology clusters with Institutes of Technology right across the country, positioning them as drivers of world-class start-ups and growth enterprises and helping businesses adjust to market changes, which includes Brexit.
Funding to EI also supports the organisation in the provision of Brexit-specific supports such as: the running of Brexit Advisory Clinics, at which there has been over 1,200 attendees to date; the EI Brexit Act On Programme, which is a support funding the engagement of a consultant to devise a report with recommendations to help clients address weaknesses and improve resilience, and 359 Act On Plans have been completed to date; and the Enterprise Ireland Clear Customs Grant, to which there has been 250 applications made to date to access financial support through the scheme.
The funding allocation to InterTradeIreland by my Department increased by €1 million in 2019 and by a further €1m in 2020 to enable the organisation to engage with more of the companies seeking its support through the Brexit Advisory Service. 5,416 SMEs directly engaged with the ITI Brexit Advisory Service in 2019 and this is in addition to the 4,175 engagements in 2018.
ITI also supports businesses through Brexit Planning Vouchers, worth up to €2,250. These vouchers enable businesses to get professional advice on how best to plan and prepare for the UK's withdrawal from the EU and on specific areas such as tariffs, currency management, regulatory and customs issues and movement of labour, goods and services. To date 1,837 of such vouchers have been approved. Furthermore, in March 2019, ITI launched a Brexit Implementation Voucher, which provides financial support up to €5,625 with ITI paying 50% of total expenditure. This allows businesses to implement critical changes making them better prepared to deal with a new trading relationship. To date 44 such vouchers have been approved.
To enable retailers to increase their customer base and build a more resilient business, I also introduced a new pilot Online Retail Scheme in 2018 administered by EI. The Scheme, with a fund of up to €1.25m over two Calls, provided funding to 40 retailers across Ireland, with grants of between €10,000 and €25,000 on a 50 per cent match fund basis. This scheme follows through on my commitment to increase the scale and internationalisation of indigenous enterprise; increase productivity in high-employment sectors; and encourage Brexit readiness. The Pilot Online Retail Scheme concluded in 2019 and my Department and EI will review its effectiveness.
The Brexit Loan Scheme was launched at the end of March 2018, using a combination of Irish Exchequer and EU guarantees, it leverages up to €300 million of lending at a maximum interest rate 4% at a cost to the Exchequer of €23 million – €14 million provided by my Department and €9 million provided by Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. To date 889 applications have been approved for eligibility and 236 loans have been progressed to sanction at bank level to a value of €49.57 million. To date there have been 173 repeat eligibility applications.
The Future Growth Loan Scheme opened for applications through the SBCI in April of 2019. The scheme provides a longer-term facility, 8 to 10 years, and using a combination of Irish Exchequer and EU guarantees, it leverages up to €300 million to support strategic capital investment for a post-Brexit environment by business at competitive rates. This scheme is jointly funded by my Department (€37.2 million) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (€24.8 million) at a total cost to the Exchequer of €62 million. To date 2,980 applications have been approved for eligibility and 1,010 have been progressed to sanction at bank level to a value of €207.95 million.
Furthermore, in the event that there is no trade agreement at the end of the transition period, the Brexit contingency provision in Budget 2020 will enable my Department, in conjunction with its enterprise agencies, to ensure that a range of targeted supports are available to vulnerable-but-viable businesses to survive the initial shock of a 'no deal' and also to enable them to successfully transition so that they can operate in the post Brexit environment.
If there is no agreement, €220 million will be made available immediately. Of this, €110 million will be made available to my Department to help vulnerable-but-viable businesses. Supports will include:
- €45m Transition Fund
- €42m Rescue and Restructuring Fund
- €8m Transformation Fund for Food and Non-Food businesses
- €5m extra for Micro Finance Ireland
- €5m for a Local Enterprise Offices Emergency Brexit Fund
- €2m extra for InterTradeIreland
- €3m extra for Regulatory Bodies
- €40m will be available, if necessary, to support Tourism.
€110m will be provided through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to support our beef sector and food companies: €85 million will be provided for beef farm enterprises; €14 million for fisheries enterprises; €6 million for other livestock farms and mushroom enterprises; and €5 million for the food and drinks processing industry.
The first table attached sets out the uptake of Brexit preparedness supports available through my Department and its agencies as at 14 February 2020 (unless otherwise indicated).
The second table attached sets out the respective Voted budget allocations to ITI, EI, IDA and the LEOs between 2018 and 2020, and the cost/expenditure of the supports in so far as they are currently available.
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Allocation and Expenditure for Brexit Related Supports
Budget Allocations Across Enterprise Development Agencies
|-||2018 (€'000)||2019 (€'000)||2020 (€'000)|
|Local Enterprise Offices||32,931||37,931||38,181|
The budget for the Disruptive Technology Fund is not included in these figure
Expenditure/Cost per Scheme
|Brexit Loan Scheme||The scheme will cost the Exchequer €23m (€14 million provided by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and €9m provided by Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine).|
|Future Growth Loan Scheme||The scheme will cost the Exchequer €62m (€37 million from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and €25m from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.).|
|Enterprise Ireland Be Prepared Grant||€481,803 to 13/01/2020|
|Enterprise Ireland Market Discovery Fund - A support to EI clients to research new markets||€1,768,890 to 13/01/2020|
|Enterprise Ireland Agile Innovation Fund - Gives rapid fast-track access to innovation funding||€2,053,152 to 13/01/2020|
|Enterprise Ireland Brexit Advisory Clinics||€284,233 to 13/01/2020|
|Enterprise Ireland Brexit “Act On Programme” – A support funding the engagement of a consultant to devise report with recommendations to help clients address weaknesses and improve resilience.||€686,000 to 06/01/2020|
|Enterprise Ireland Strategic Consultancy Grant – A grant to assist EI clients to hire a strategic consultant for a set period.||€1,698,104 to 13/01/2020 - (Since June 2016-2019 to date)|
|Enterprise Ireland Clear Customs||€262,500 to 13/01/2020|
|Local Enterprise Office Technical Assistance Grant for Micro Export - an incentive for LEO clients to explore and develop new market opportunities||2018 Expenditure - €560,275 |
1st Jan to 30th September
2019 Expenditure - €432,458
|Local Enterprise Office LEAN for Micro - The LEO Lean4Micro offer was developed in collaboration between the EI Lean department and the LEOs to tailor the EI Lean offer for LEO micro enterprise clients||2018 Expenditure - €951,129 |
1st Jan to 30th September 2019
Expenditure - €585,110
|Local Enterprise Office Mentoring||There isn’t a specific budget allocation for LEO Brexit mentoring. It is included in the LEOs overall Measure 2 allocation.|
|Local Enterprise Office Brexit Seminars/Events||2018 Expenditure - €128,601 |
1st Jan to 30th September 2019
Expenditure - €178,423
|The Local Enterprise Office ‘Prepare Your Business for Customs’ workshops are run regionally and help businesses understand the key customs concepts, documentation and processes required to succeed in a post Brexit world.||2018 Expenditure |
1 Jan to 31st March 2019
Expenditure - €24,600
|InterTradeIreland provides a range of Brexit supports and advice through its Brexit Advisory Service. |
InterTradeIreland also offers two Brexit Vouchers. The first of these is a Brexit Planning voucher which provides 100% financial support towards professional advice to help Businesses identify Brexit exposures and to plan.
The second is a Brexit Implementation voucher, which provides financial support up to £5,000/€5,625 to allow businesses to implement critical changes, making them better prepared to deal with a new trading relationship post-Brexit. InterTradeIreland pays 50% of the cost of this voucher.
As well support through voucher funding, the Brexit Advisory Service also offer a tailor-made on-line learning tool, a tariff checker, glossary of key Brexit terminology, research, networking and information events.
|Expenditure to date in 2019: £2.05m (preliminary figure). |
Expenditure in 2018: £0.9m.
|Pilot Online Retail Scheme administered by Enterprise Ireland||Under the first competitive call of the new €1.25m pilot Online Retail Scheme to support retail businesses to strengthen their online offering, 11 retailers were awarded funding totalling €235,084, in March 2019. A second call of the Scheme opened on 19th June with the remainder of the fund available and closed on 31st July 2019.|
Brexit preparedness supports - uptake of available schemes
|Scheme||Uptake at 14 February (except where otherwise noted)|
|Brexit Loan Scheme||988 applications received, 889 approved by SBCI, 236 loans progressed to sanction at bank level to a value of €49.57 million. |
Of the approved applications to date, 173 were reapplications as eligibility expires after six months.
(At 21 February)
|Future Growth Loan Scheme||3,109 applications received, 2,980 approved by SBCI, 1,010 loans progressed to sanction at bank level. Total value of loans sanctioned was €207.95 million. (At 21 February)|
|Enterprise Ireland Brexit Scorecard - online platform for Irish companies to self-assess their exposure to Brexit||7,084 Brexit Scorecards have been completed. 1,816 LEO clients have completed the scorecard.|
|Enterprise Ireland Be Prepared Grant||245 Be Prepared Grants have been approved|
|Enterprise Ireland Market Discovery Fund - A support to EI clients to research new markets||236 companies have been approved under this initiative|
|Enterprise Ireland Prepare to Export Scorecard||6,686 Prepare to Export Scorecards have been completed|
|Enterprise Ireland Customs Insights Online Course||1,985 Customs Insights Course participants|
|Enterprise Ireland Agile Innovation Fund - Gives rapid fast-track access to innovation funding||97 Agile Innovation projects have been approved|
|Enterprise Ireland Brexit Advisory Clinics||16 Brexit Advisory Clinics have been run with over 1,200 in attendance|
|Enterprise Ireland Brexit “Act On Programme” – A support funding the engagement of a consultant to devise report with recommendations to help clients address weaknesses and improve resilience||359 “Act on” Plans have been completed|
|Enterprise Ireland Strategic Consultancy Grant – A grant to assist EI clients to hire a strategic consultant for a set period||1,105 Strategic Consultancy Grants have been approved|
|Enterprise Ireland Clear Customs Grant||250 applications have been made to access financial support through the scheme|
|Local Enterprise Office Technical Assistance Grant for Micro Export - an incentive for LEO clients to explore and develop new market opportunities||937 clients were approved assistance under the Technical Assistance Grant|
|Local Enterprise Office LEAN for Micro - The LEO Lean4Micro offer was developed in collaboration between the EI Lean department and the LEOs to tailor the EI Lean offer for LEO micro enterprise clients||499 LEO clients have participated in the programme|
|Local Enterprise Office Mentoring|| |
1,381 mentoring participants solely focused on Brexit
|Local Enterprise Office Brexit Seminars/Events|| |
7,040 participants at the Brexit Information events
|Customs Training Participants|| |
1,720 participants attended Customs Training
|InterTradeIreland Brexit Advisory Service|| |
179 SMEs have directly engaged with the Brexit Advisory Service in 2020. This is in addition to the 5,416 engagements in 2019 and 4,175 in 2018.
|InterTradeIreland Brexit Planning Vouchers|| |
There have been 2,131 applications, with 1,837 approved and 13 still pending assessment.
|InterTradeIreland Brexit Implementation Vouchers|| |
There have been 62 applications, with 44 approved.