Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Ceisteanna (181)

Pat Casey

Ceist:

181. Deputy Pat Casey asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of food businesses by county that have applied for working capital under the Brexit loan scheme which opened in March 2018 up until the end of the third quarter of 2019; the number of such businesses that have been sanctioned financing to date; and the value of same. [41038/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

While the nature of the UK's departure from the EU still remains to be determined, Brexit continues to represent a significant challenge for businesses in Ireland, one which cannot be underestimated. That is why my Department and its agencies have put in place extensive supports, schemes and advisory resources to ensure that to ensure that businesses around the country are prepared for Brexit. These measures aim to assist businesses in identifying and managing key risk areas and develop practical preparatory actions regardless of the circumstances of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

The Brexit Loan Scheme was launched in March of 2018. The Scheme, using a combination of Irish Exchequer and EU guarantees, leveraged up to €300 million of lending at a maximum interest rate of 4% at a cost to the Exchequer of €23 million - €14 million provided by my Department and €9 million provided by Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The Brexit Loan Scheme provides relatively short-term working capital, 1 to 3 years, to 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.

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 04 October, there have been 154 applications by food businesses under the scheme, of which 130 have been approved by SBCI. 36 food business applications have progressed to sanction at bank value, to a total value of €9.3 million.

The following table details the number of food businesses by county that have applied for working capital under the Brexit loan scheme to 27 September 2019.

Brexit Loan Scheme: Breakdown of Food businesses by county that have applied Brexit loan scheme to 27 September 2019

Carlow

3

Cavan

5

Clare

4

Cork

23

Donegal

7

Dublin

28

Galway

6

Kerry

1

Kildare

3

Kilkenny

4

Laois

1

Leitrim

0

Limerick

1

Longford

0

Louth

5

Mayo

2

Meath

13

Monaghan

14

Offaly

6

Roscommon

2

Sligo

3

Tipperary

7

Waterford

1

WestMeath

3

Wexford

5

Wicklow

7

Total

154