The €300 million Brexit Loan Scheme provides relatively short-term working capital for terms of 1 to 3 years, to eligible businesses with up to 499 employees to help them innovate, change or adapt to mitigate their Brexit challenges. Businesses can confirm their eligibility with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) and, if deemed eligible, can apply to one of the participating finance providers for a loan under the scheme.
According to the latest data available, as at close of business on the 28 June, there were 663 eligibility applications received by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland, of which 598 have been deemed eligible. Of these 598 eligible applicants, 145 have progressed to sanction with their banks. The value of the sanctioned loans from banks at 28 June was €31.65 million. While data on actual funding received by applicants as of 28 June is not available, we know that there is a high conversion from sanctioned loans to drawdown, as SBCI data for the end of March 2019 indicates that 88% of the total value of loans sanctioned by banks had been drawn down by businesses.
In addition to the Brexit Loan Scheme, my Department, together with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Department of Finance and with the support of the European Investment Bank guarantee, has developed the Future Growth Loan Scheme.
This scheme makes up to €300 million of loans available with a term of 8-10 years and is open to eligible Irish businesses and the primary agriculture and seafood sectors to support strategic long-term investment. Finance provided under the scheme is competitively priced and has favourable terms, for example no security required for loans up to €500,000. The scheme opened for eligibility applications on 17th April, and since then the SBCI has received 365 eligibility applications and issued 340 eligibility letters.
With Brexit on the horizon, the availability of both the Brexit Loan Scheme and Future Growth Loan Scheme means that qualifying Irish businesses will have access to low cost capital without delay and forms part of the support for Irish business to cope with potential Brexit challenges.