€90m finance scheme to aid business
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 €40million in additional lending will come from the fund in the next five years, and can extend the scheme to provide the additional €50million 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 less than 10 people.
“Government does not create jobs, people and businesses do. The role of Government, and the centre of our plan, is to make it easier for businesses to start-up, expand, succeed, and create jobs,” Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton said.
“As in the case of the Loan Guarantee Scheme, the Development Capital Scheme and the Innovation Fund, 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 welcomed the news, saying it would give a "much needed boost" to micro businesses. However, chief executive Mark Fielding called on the Central Bank to watch the refusal rates at banks, saying the scheme could not give institutions the excuse for further loan refusals.