Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Questions (323)

Aindrias Moynihan

Question:

323. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the uptake on the various schemes offered to assist businesses in preparing for Brexit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53413/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

My Department and its agencies are continually working on promoting the available supports, schemes, information and advice that can help businesses prepare for Brexit. These measures are focused on: helping businesses across the country to identify key risk areas; providing information and advice on the practical preparatory actions that business can take; and making supports available to help businesses in addressing Brexit related concerns.

The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), are the first-stop-shop for anyone seeking guidance and support on starting or growing their business. In addition to offering support and guidance, the LEOs act to signpost businesses to appropriate supports. They also participate in and run events related to Brexit and offer Brexit-specific mentoring to businesses. Up to the 6th of December 2019, 1,271 LEO clients have received one-to-one mentoring solely focused on Brexit.

The Brexit Loan Scheme provides relatively short-term working capital, for terms of up to three years, to eligible businesses to help them innovate, change or adapt to mitigate their Brexit challenges. As of 12th of December there have been 919 eligibility applications received, of which 828 have been approved and 219 loans progressed to sanction at bank level to a value of €47.5 million. However, it should be noted that 160 of the total applications under the scheme are re-applications. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the reason for re-applications was that eligibility codes had expired.

The Future Growth Loan Scheme provides long term loans with a term of eight to ten years, to support strategic long-term investment. As at 12 December, there have been 2,506 applications for eligibility under the scheme, of which 2,350 had been deemed eligible. To date, 650 applications have progressed to sanction at bank level to a value of €124 million.

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) operates the Brexit Loan Scheme (BLS) and also the Future Growth Loan Scheme (FGLS). It has been actively promoting these schemes through attendance at numerous business-related events to inform and promote schemes and through promotional radio and digital campaigns which include Twitter and LinkedIn. 

My Department has a dedicated Brexit page on its website which includes information on the schemes available and officials have put together Brexit Loan Scheme and Future Growth Loan Scheme information packs which are available through my Department’s website.

My Department has also published a report detailing the supports available to indigenous enterprises, including Brexit supports such as the Brexit Loan Scheme and Future Growth Loan Scheme. This sits alongside publications like the Quick Brexit Guide for Business and Currency Risk Management for Irish SMEs.

The uptake as of the 6th of December 2019 across all the Brexit preparedness supports available to businesses is provided in the attached table.

Scheme

Uptake at 6 December 2019 unless otherwise specified

Brexit Loan Scheme

919 applications for eligibility received, 828 approved by SBCI, 219 loans progressed to sanction at bank level to a value of €47.5 million.

Of the approved applications to date, 160 were reapplications as eligibility expires after six months.

Data as of the 12th December 2019

Future Growth Loan Scheme

2,506 applications for eligibility received, 2,350 approved by SBCI, 650 loans progressed to sanction at bank level. Total value of loans sanctioned was €124 million.

Data as of the 12th December 2019

Enterprise Ireland Brexit Scorecard - online platform for Irish companies to self-assess their exposure to Brexit

6,975 Brexit Scorecards have been completed. 1,768 LEO clients have completed the scorecard.

Enterprise Ireland Be Prepared Grant

236 Be Prepared Grants have been approved

Enterprise Ireland Market Discovery Fund - A support to EI clients to research new markets

215 companies have been approved under this initiative

Enterprise Ireland Prepare to Export Scorecard

5,833 Prepare to Export Scorecards have been completed

Enterprise Ireland Customs Insights Online Course

1,937 Customs Insights Course participants

Enterprise Ireland Agile Innovation Fund - Gives rapid fast-track access to innovation funding

75 Agile Innovation projects have been approved

Enterprise Ireland Brexit Advisory Clinics

16 Brexit Advisory Clinics have been run with over 1,200 in attendance

Enterprise Ireland Brexit “Act On Programme” – A support funding the engagement of a consultant to devise report with recommendations to help clients address weaknesses and improve resilience

334 “Act on” Plans have been completed

Enterprise Ireland Strategic Consultancy Grant – A grant to assist EI clients to hire a strategic consultant for a set period

1,095 Strategic Consultancy Grants have been approved

Enterprise Ireland Clear Customs Grant

219 applications have been made to access financial support through the scheme

Local Enterprise Office Technical Assistance Grant for Micro Export - an incentive for LEO clients to explore and develop new market opportunities

828 clients were approved assistance under the Technical Assistance Grant

Local Enterprise Office LEAN for Micro - The LEO Lean4Micro offer was developed in collaboration between the EI Lean department and the LEOs to tailor the EI Lean offer for LEO micro enterprise clients

499 LEO clients have participated in the programme

Local Enterprise Office Mentoring

1,271 mentoring participants solely focused on Brexit

Local Enterprise Office Brexit Seminars/Events

6,763 participants at the Brexit Information events

Customs Training Participants

1,573 participants attended Customs Training

InterTradeIreland Brexit Advisory Service

5,402 SMEs have directly engaged with the Brexit Advisory Service in 2019. This is in addition to the 4,175 engagements in 2018.

InterTradeIreland Brexit Planning Vouchers

There have been 2,083 applications, with 1,799 approved and 8 still pending assessment.

InterTradeIreland Brexit Implementation Vouchers

There have been 58 applications, with 44 approved.

Pilot Online Retail Scheme administered by Enterprise Ireland

11 retailers were awarded funding in March 2019 under Call1. A second call of the Scheme closed on the 31 July 2019. 29 retailers were awarded funding under Call 2. The Pilot Online Retail Scheme has now concluded.