Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ceisteanna (253)

Billy Kelleher


253. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation when the future growth loan scheme announced in budget 2018 will open for applications; the terms and conditions of this scheme; and the length of time the scheme will stay open for applications. [12424/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Future Growth Loan Scheme makes up to €300 million of loans available with a term of 8-10 years. This scheme will be available to eligible Irish businesses and the primary agriculture and seafood sectors to support strategic long-term investment in a post Brexit environment. Finance provided under the scheme will be competitively priced and have favorable terms, for example no security required for loans up to €500,000.

The scheme has been developed by my Department and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in partnership with the Department of Finance, the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland and the European Investment Fund. It will be delivered through participating finance providers.

Loans are for terms of 8-10 years, with minimum loan amount of €100,000 for SMEs (€50,000 for primary agriculture) and maximum loan amount of €3,000,000. As mentioned before, loans of under €500,000 will be made on an unsecured basis.

Loans must be used for investment in tangible or intangible assets for the purpose of process and organisational innovation, or investment in assets on agricultural holdings linked to primary agricultural production.

The Future Growth Loan Scheme will feature a two-stage application process. Applications for eligibility under the scheme will be made through the SBCI website. The SBCI will assess the applications and those successful will be issued an eligibility reference number.

Eligible businesses will then be able to apply for a loan under the scheme with one of the participating finance providers using the eligibility reference number. Approval of loans are subject to the finance providers’ own credit policies and procedures.

The scheme will be open to all eligible businesses, whether a State Agency client or not.

The SBCI “Open Call” for designation as a lending partner under the Scheme closed on 11th February 2019 and my Department is currently working on the finalisation of the Scheme. The Future Growth Loan Scheme will be launched shortly and it will be open for applications for the next three years.