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Future Growth Loan Scheme Expansion July 2020

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar T.D. the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe T.D and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dara Calleary T.D. recently launched a €500 million expansion to the Future Growth Loan, the government’s scheme to support farmers and fishing and other SME’s. The additional funding will be provided by the European Investment Bank Group.

Applications are now open, making available a further €500m of long-term loans to help more SMEs make investments to enable them to expand, diversify or improve productivity.

The government launched the first €300 million round of the Scheme in early 2019, helping 1,150 SMEs, farmers and fishers to date make strategic investments to grow their businesses. The expansion of the scheme will see the European Investment Bank Group provide an additional €500m for the Scheme, bringing the total investment in the Scheme to €800m.

Loans of between €25,000 to €3 million are available at competitive rates for terms between 7 and 10 years. The scheme will facilitate significant injections of liquidity for businesses looking to develop strategic responses to the changing business conditions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and by Brexit. This scheme will help to facilitate innovation and ensure that our enterprise base is sustainable into the future.

Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine Dara Calleary T.D. said at the launch:

“The uptake of the Future Growth Loan Scheme by the agri-food sector has been very strong and I am aware that there has been some unfulfilled demand. Not only will the new expansion meet that demand, the evolution of the Scheme will assist in meeting the new challenges being posed by COVID-19 and the ongoing challenges the sector has in dealing with Brexit. The unsecured nature of the funding particularly helps young and new entrant farmers, as well as smaller farmers, but it is a crucial support to all parts of the production chain; farmers, fishers, forestry and food & beverage production.”

The scheme is supported by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund, and delivered by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI). The European Investment Bank’s engagement has been partially guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments.

Bank of Ireland, AIB and Ulster Bank are now accepting loan applications for the Scheme from businesses meeting SBCI eligibility. The SBCI is actively engaged with three other financial providers who responded to the open call and hopes to announce them as scheme partners. Businesses are advised to check the SBCI website for up to date information in relation to participating financial providers.

To access the Scheme, businesses must apply for eligibility through the SBCI. The application form, along with full details of the scheme, is available through the SBCI website www.sbci.gov.ie

The Future Growth Loan Scheme is now open for eligibility applications which may be lodged via the SBCI website. See link below