Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (397)

Imelda Munster


397. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number and value of grants awarded under the Brexit loan scheme to date. [45097/19]

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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 announced in the 2018 Budget (€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 28 October 2019, there have been 869 applications for eligibility under the scheme, of which 779 have been approved. There have been 156 repeat applications, as eligibility under the scheme expires after six months. To date, 207 applications have progressed to sanction at finance provider level, to a total value of €45.5 million.