Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
109. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of businesses in counties Sligo and Leitrim that have availed of the Covid-19 credit guarantee scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43804/20]
The COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme is the largest guarantee scheme in the history of the State. It gives certainty to businesses that liquidity is available for working capital and investment purposes. Loans of up to €1 million are available for up to five and a half years. Loans under €250,000 do not require collateral or personal guarantees and the State will cover 80 per cent of nay claims under the scheme.
The Scheme was originally scheduled to run until 31 December 2020, in line with the requirements of the European Commission’s Temporary Framework on State Aid. Following the extension of the terms of this Framework, the Government approved, on 24 November, the extension of the Scheme to run until 30 June 2021. It is available to SMEs, and companies with under 500 employees and primary producers.
There have been 1,516 loans drawn for a value of €74 million in the first 3 months of the Scheme. These loans are being drawn from all over the country. There is now a draw down rate of some €8 million per week. This is close to guaranteeing in a week what was guaranteed in the full year of 2018 in the standard Credit Guarantee Scheme. The sectors utilising the scheme most prominently are wholesale and retail at 20 percent, accommodation and food services at 14 percent, agriculture at 11 percent and construction at 9 percent. This demonstrates the strong need and utilisation of the scheme by businesses most affected by COVID-19.
As at 3rd December, 23 businesses in County Sligo have availed of the Scheme and have drawn loans with a value of €988,666
As at 3rd December, 4 businesses in County Leitrim have availed of the Scheme and have drawn loans with a value of €69,600
A number of new lenders will join AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank early in the new year offering new product-lines. These new lenders will ensure increased regional availability of finance.
I want to assure the Deputy that my officials and I are constantly reviewing the Scheme and its effectiveness. I would also direct the Deputy to my Department’s website which has the details of this scheme as well as other relevant loan and grant supports available to Irish businesses.