Minister for Business,Heather Humphreys has this afternoon (Wednesday, April 08) announced a major expansion of supports available for all businesses impacted by Covid-19.
Minister Humphreys said: “This package is a significant step-up in the supports available for all businesses in all sectors at this very difficult time.”
New developments include a €450m expansion of two loan schemes operated by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI).
The Working Capital Loan Scheme, which provides liquidity support to businesses is to receive a further €250m, bringing the total fund to €450m.
The SBCI operated Future Growth Loan Scheme, will receive an additional €200m to be released in tranches to provide longer-term loans to firms that have been impacted by Covid-19.
The expansion of the schemes will bring to €650m the amount that the SBCI can offer by way of supports to companies through the main banks here.
Minister Humphreys also launched a €180m Sustaining Enterprise Fund which will help companies in the manufacturing and international services sectors that are ‘vulnerable but viable’.
This initiative promoted by the Government some weeks ago, was given state aid approval by the European Commission last week before its launch today.
Firms that employ 10 or more full-time employees can apply for loans of up to €800,000.
Among the other measures announced today is the extension of supports to get businesses trading online, worth €7.6m.
These supports will be available to micro enterprises through the Department of Communications’ existing €2,500 voucher scheme as well as to retailers that employ more than 10 staff through a new €2m Covid-19 Retail Online Scheme that will be operated by Enterprise Ireland.
Funding to enable Microfinance Ireland to offer Covid-19 loans has also been increased by €13m to €20m, with rates interest reduced from 7.8% to 4.5%.