Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Questions (124)

Finian McGrath

Question:

124 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the advice he will offer to a person (details supplied). [32648/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation)

The role of the County and City Enterprise Boards (CEBs) is to support manufacturing and internationally traded services in the micro enterprise sector. Whilst my Department provides funding to the CEBs it has no function in their day-to-day decision-making. Decisions on applications for assistance from the CEBs are made independently by the Boards, subject to eligibility criteria, on the advice of their evaluation committees. I note that the promoter has already been in contact with Dublin CEB regarding its services, and he may therefore wish to engage further with the Board as his business proposals develop. Further information is available from the CEBs website www.enterpriseboards.ie.

The Deputy will be aware that the Government, in addition to directing the 2 Pillar banks to provide additional lending to business over a three year period, is also introducing a suite of initiatives to facilitate the flow of credit to business. This includes the introduction of the Temporary Partial Loan Guarantee Scheme and the Micro-enterprise Loan Fund both of which are currently being finalised in the Oireachtas and which are designed to address market failures and facilitate the flow of credit to micro-enterprises and small and medium sized enterprises. It is hoped to have both Bills on these initiatives passed in the current session of the Oireachtas and that they will impact on the flow of credit available to business in the very near future.

The Microenterprise Loan Fund will help people to fulfil their entrepreneurial potential. This Fund will provide small loans up to €25,000 to all start-up, newly established, or existing small business concerns with fewer than ten employees, across all industry sectors. In order to be eligible for the scheme, an application for credit must first have been refused by the banks. The Scheme will provide loans for commercially viable proposals that do not meet theconventional risk criteria applied by the banks for various reasons, including the absence of collateral. It is hoped to have the new Microenterprise Loan Fund open for business by early Autumn.