Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (749)

Charlie McConalogue


749. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of food businesses that have applied for working capital under the Brexit loan scheme which opened in March 2018; the number of such businesses that have been sanctioned financing to date; and the value of same. [36821/19]

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Written answers (Question to Business)

The Brexit Loan Scheme provides affordable working capital to eligible businesses with up to 499 employees that are or will be Brexit impacted and which meet the scheme criteria. The €23 million exchequer funding (€14 million from my Department and €9 million from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine) has been leveraged to provide a fund of up to €300 million over the lifetime of the scheme.

The scheme features a two-stage application process. First, businesses must apply to the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) to confirm their eligibility for the scheme. Businesses can use guidelines provided on the SBCI website to determine if they are eligible, and if so, to complete the eligibility form. As part of the process, businesses must submit a business plan, demonstrating the means by which they intend to innovate, change or adapt to meet their Brexit challenges. The SBCI assesses the applications and successful applicants receive an eligibility reference number.

Successful applicants can then apply for a loan under the scheme with one of the participating finance providers using their eligibility reference number. Participating finance providers are the Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and Allied Irish Bank. Approval of loans is subject to the finance providers' own credit policies and procedures.

As at 30 August, there had been 764 applications for eligibility under the scheme.  To date, SBCI has approved 691 applications of which 127 have come from food businesses. 179 successful applications have progressed to sanction at bank level, to a total value of €39.79 million. 33 of the applications progressed to sanction at bank level have been from food businesses, to a total value of €8.61 million.