SFA Welcomes Launch of Brexit Loan Scheme

Sven Spollen-Behrens, Director of the Small Firms Association (SFA), has welcomed the Government launch of the Brexit Loan Scheme. The scheme, which has the potential to benefit over 5,000 companies, will see Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank start to offer loans now, with AIB offering loans in June. A total of €300 million is available to eligible businesses with up to 499 employees at an interest rate of 4 per cent or less.

The new scheme will be delivered by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland and is supported by an agreement with the European Investment Fund.

Commenting on the news, Spollen-Behrens stated: “The UK’s vote to leave the EU has already posed considerable challenges to Irish businesses and significant further difficulties may be coming down the tracks. This scheme is an important element of Ireland’s response to Brexit. It will allow small firms to borrow for working capital or investment at low interest rates, ensuring businesses that are viable in the long-term can survive the challenges ahead.

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“I welcome the fact that the borrowing will be unsecured for loans up to €500,000. Close monitoring, however, will be required to ensure the scheme’s impact on small businesses is maximised. With loans of up to €1,500,000 available and companies with up to 499 employees eligible to apply, the €300 million could dry up very quickly.”

Pictured above: Sven Spollen-Behrens, Director, Small Firms Association