Written answers

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Brexit Supports

Photo of Violet WynneViolet Wynne (Clare, Sinn Fein)
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628. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the Brexit impact loan scheme; when it will be rolled out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [62715/21]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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I launched the €330m Brexit Impact Loan Scheme (BILS) with Government colleagues on the 15th October 2021 to provide support to businesses, including farmers, fishers and food businesses, impacted by Brexit. Funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and my Department, the BILS is supported by a counter-guarantee from the European Investment Bank Group.

My Department's funding ensures that up to 40% of the Scheme will be available to the agri-food sector, which is particularly exposed to the impact of Brexit. Launched in parallel with the closure of the existing Brexit Loan Scheme, the BILS offers a number of advantages over that Scheme, including that: farmers and fishers are now be eligible to access the new Scheme; loan terms are now up to six years; variable interest rates are available, and; loans will be available for working capital and investment purposes.

Delivered by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), the BILS is available through participating banks and credit unions, ensuring wider accessibility of the Scheme. Further information is available at Brexit Impact Loan Scheme (BILS) - SBCI

At close of business on 13th December 2021, 528 eligibility applications have been received for the BILS, of which 450 are approved and 3 are ineligible, with a further 75 pending approval. Of those loans approved, 91 loans to the value of €10.5 milion have been sanctioned, of which 45 loans to the value of €3.6 million relate to the agri-food sector.

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