Thursday, 17 November 2022
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
130. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the reason that companies in the primary agricultural, fishery or aquaculture sectors have been excluded from applying for funding from the Ukraine enterprise crisis scheme to assist with unprecedented high energy bills; if he will reconsider their exclusion or identify alternative supportive funding streams; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57081/22]
The €200 million Ukraine Enterprise Crisis Scheme announced on 22nd October last and implemented through Enterprise Ireland, IDA and Údarás provides for two streams of funding to assist viable but vulnerable firms of all sizes in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors.
The first stream will assist firms suffering liquidity problems as a result of Russia’s war on Ukraine, and the second stream will also help those impacted by severe rises in energy costs.
The €1.25 billion Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS), announced in Budget 2023, and which is designed to be compliant with the EU State Aid Temporary Crisis Framework, will apply to both eligible businesses and eligible primary producers. Claims operate on a self-assessment basis and are subject to a monthly cap of €10,000. This is a significant measure at a time of escalating costs, which will be of direct assistance to both farmers and food businesses, including those in the seafood sector.
My Department is also working with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on the development of a new Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme. This scheme will make up to €500 million in low-cost investment loans of up to 10 years available to SMEs, including farmers and fishers and small mid-caps, with no collateral required for loans up to €500,000. In this scheme, a minimum of 30% of the lending volume will be targeted towards Environmental Sustainability purposes.
In addition, as announced in Budget 2023, the Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme is currently being drafted, which will have €1.2 billion lending capacity and will facilitate low-cost loans for working capital and short-term investment for SMEs, small mid-caps, and primary producers. It is proposed that personal guarantees and collateral requirements will not be required for loans of up to €250,000.