The €300 million Brexit loan scheme provides relatively short-term working capital of one to three years for eligible businesses with up to 499 employees to help them to 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.
Given its significant exposure to the UK market, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine contributed 40% of the State funding. As a result, at least 40% of the fund will be available to food businesses.
In terms of the number of applicants for the Brexit loan scheme, the latest data available to my Department show that, at close of business on 5 July, 669 eligibility applications were received by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland, of which 608 were deemed eligible by it. Of the 608 eligible applicants, 150 have progressed to sanction with their banks. The value of the sanctioned loans from banks on 28 June was €32.93 million.
To date, 107 food businesses have applied for eligibility under the Brexit Loan Scheme while 28 food businesses have been sanctioned financing for a total value of €7.98 million.
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. The scheme is making up to €300 million worth of loans available with a term of eight to ten years and is open to eligible Irish businesses, as well as 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 is required for loans up to €500,000. The scheme opened for eligibility applications on 17 April since then the SBCI has received 524 eligibility applications and issued 482 eligibility letters. With Brexit on the horizon, the availability of both the Brexit loan scheme and the future growth loan scheme means that qualifying Irish businesses will have access to low cost capital without delay. It forms part of the supports in place for Irish business to cope with potential Brexit challenges.