Finance scheme could lend up to €90m in 10 years
A promised €90 million microfinance scheme aimed at helping small businesses who have been refused credit by banks will open to applications from Monday.Up to €40 million in additional lending will come from the fund in the next five years. The scheme can be extended to provide the additional €50 million over the following five years. The Government estimates up to 7,700 jobs over could be created as a result over the next 10 years.
Loans of up to €25,000 will be accepted and processed by the scheme. To qualify, businesses must employ fewer than 10 people.
“As in the case of the Loan Guarantee Scheme, the Development Capital Scheme and the Innovation Fund,” Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton said, “this is Government getting involved in filling gaps in the market and supporting viable businesses which can create the jobs we need.”
The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises association, Isme, said it would give a “much- needed boost” to micro businesses. However, chief executive Mark Fielding called on the Central Bank to watch refusal rates at banks, saying the scheme could not give institutions the excuse for further loan refusals.