Written answers

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Brexit Supports

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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475. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the uptake of all Brexit related supports under the remit of her Department in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3699/20]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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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.

The Local Enterprise Offices (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 Enterprise Ireland.

Enterprise Ireland (EI) is also providing 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.

InterTradeIreland (ITI) has a focus on cross border trade in Ireland and provides a number of Brexit supports, including a Brexit advisory service. 5,416 SMEs directly engaged with the 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 European Union and advice 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.

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 Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland 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 €300m to support strategic capital investment for a post-Brexit environment by business at competitive rates. 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.

The table below sets out the update of Brexit preparedness supports available through my Department and its agencies as of March 2020 (unless otherwise indicated).

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 (of which 173 are repeat applications), 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.


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