Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Brexit Supports

Photo of Niamh SmythNiamh Smyth (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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172. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of businesses in counties Cavan and Monaghan that have availed of the Brexit loan scheme. [43721/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The Brexit Loan Scheme makes available working capital lending to eligible businesses that are or will be exposed to impacts arising from the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Loans under the scheme range from €25,000 to €1.5m for terms of up to three years and are offered at favourable terms compared to otherwise similar lending in the market. For example, there is no security required on loans of up to €500,000 and loans under the scheme are offered at a maximum interest rate of 4%, which represents a significant savings compared to other similar lending available in the market.

The Brexit Loan Scheme features a two-stage application process, whereby businesses must first apply to the SBCI to confirm their eligibility under the scheme. Successful applicants are issued an eligibility code, which they can then use to make a loan application to a participating finance provider.

To date there has been modest uptake of the Brexit Loan Scheme. While there had been 1,018 eligibility codes approved by the end of September 2020, this translated to €56.4 million in loans drawn by 279 businesses by the end of September 2020. There has been little further activity on the scheme since then as businesses continue to deal with COVID-19 impacts.

Specifically for County Cavan, 23 eligibility codes were approved, and 5 loans were drawn to a value of €650,000 by the end of September 2020.

Businesses in County Monaghan were approved for 27 eligibility codes and 3 loans were drawn to a value of €233,000 by the end of September 2020.

I am very conscious that the delays to the Brexit process may have caused businesses to defer their Brexit preparations, and that the added disruption of the pandemic has meant that many businesses have had to focus their efforts through much of 2020 on successfully navigating an unforeseeable crisis.

However, Brexit will mean change for Irish businesses and the availability of the Brexit Loan Scheme has been extended so that it will remain in place through 2021, thus providing an option for businesses to access competitive finance for working capital should they need it to respond to Brexit. I am encouraging businesses to carefully consider their exposure to Brexit-related impacts, to take the necessary steps to insulate themselves from those impacts, and to ensure they continue to trade after 1 January.


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