Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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543. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of businesses that have applied to the SBCI Covid-19 working capital loan and future growth loan schemes; the number of firms that have received assistance to date; the number of applications approved to date; the amount loaned; the breakdown by SMEs by size, that is, less than ten, 11 to 49, 50 to 249 and greater than 250 employees, respectively, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5670/20]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The SBCI Covid-19 Working Capital Scheme was announced on 11 March and opened for eligibility applications on 23 March. The Covid-19 Working Capital Scheme is offered by my Department in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and is supported by the InnovFin SME Guarantee facility. The scheme is operated by the SBCI.

It currently makes available a fund of up to €200 m to eligible businesses that have been negatively affected by impacts arising from the outbreak of Covid-19 to enable those businesses to innovate, change or adapt in response to the current business environment. Following my further announcement on April 8 this Scheme is now being expanded to make available an additional €250 million in lending, which will bring the total amount of lending available under this scheme to €450 million.

The scheme features a two-stage application process. Businesses must first confirm their eligibility with the SBCI. Successful applicants will be issued an eligibility reference number, which they can then use to apply for a loan with one of the participating finance providers. Approval of loans is subject to the finance providers’ own credit policies and procedures.

Up to 10 May, there has been a total of 2,118 applications received to the COVID-19 WCS, of which 2,017 candidates were eligible, 13 ineligible and 88 applications are currently in process. To date, 189 loans have progressed to sanction to a total value of €33.03m.

Table 1 provides details of the first €21.26m of loans progressed to sanction under this scheme, sorted by the size of the applicant businesses.

The Future Growth Loan Scheme makes up to €300 million of loans available with a term of 8-10 years and is operated by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) though participating lenders. We have seen strong demand for the scheme since its launch in April 2019 across all sectors and regions including in exporting businesses and family businesses.

Up to 10 May, there has been a total of 3,502 applications for eligibility under the scheme, of which 3,327 have been approved for eligibility under the scheme. To date, 1045 loans have progressed to sanction to a total value of €222.78m.

The initial €300m funding for the FGLS has been almost fully subscribed, supporting a significant level of strategic investment by businesses. On 8 April, I announced a further expansion of this scheme and my Department is now working through the details of a significant expansion to bring this funding to market as soon as possible.

Table 2 provides details of the first €222m of loans progressed to sanction under this scheme, sorted by the size of the applicant businesses.

Table 1: Covid-19 Working Capital Scheme uptake by business size:

Number of Employees  Number of Loans  Value of Loans
1-10 77 €7,176,000
11 - 50 46 €8,384,000
51 - 250 10 €5,700,000
Total  133 €21,260,000

Table 2: Future Growth Loan Scheme uptake by business size:

Number of Employees  Number of Loans  Value of Loan1-10
1 - 9 720 €116,243,376
10 - 49 271 €79,859,660
50 - 249* 52 €25,840,500
Total 1043 €221,943,536
*Please note that the number of businesses of more than 250 employees that have benefitted from the scheme is small and these have been included in the category of businesses with 50-249 employees to avoid any potential confidentiality issues.

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