After a conspicuous deal with the European Investment Fund, the state releases a EUR 500 million loan program for SMEs

The government has committed €500 million in funding under a new long-term loan scheme for small businesses after signing an agreement with the European Investment Fund.

The Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme will provide SMEs, including farmers, with concessional loans of up to EUR 3 million for business expansion and investments in energy efficiency and sustainability.

The fund, launched as a successor to the successful Future Growth Loan Scheme, offers financing for up to 10 years with unsecured loans of up to €500,000 – terms that are difficult to obtain from non-government lenders.

At least 30 percent of the loans will be earmarked for spending in support of the climate change agenda, according to the Department for Business.

The low-cost financing is backed by the European Investment Bank and the program is being implemented by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) and its commercial lending partners.

“The Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme will enable companies to invest in sustainability, innovation and continued expansion through longer-term investments while taking advantage of low-cost, longer-term and more accessible financing,” said SBCI Managing Director June Butler.

The new source of funding will be made available to farmers, fishermen and companies for strategic investments.

“I am committed to ensuring that the agri-food sector has adequate access to finance, particularly to meet the goals of Food Vision 2030, our joint ten-year strategy for Ireland’s agri-food sector to ensure our economic and environmental goals can to be achieved in the period ahead,” said FF Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue TD.

SBCI has been very active as a source of corporate finance during the Covid crisis and has seen its best years of lending during the pandemic.

The sovereign lender has massively increased its lending capacity in 2020 and 2021, with cumulative funding commitments of nearly €3.5 billion in 2021, up from nearly €1.8 billion in 2019.

The popular Future Growth Loan Scheme, which has been enthusiastically embraced by small businesses, was extended by €500m in 2020 but is now stretched to capacity.

SBCI has relationships with more than 30 commercial lenders, including major retail banks, several credit unions, asset-backed financiers and crowdfunding firm Linked Finance. After a conspicuous deal with the European Investment Fund, the state releases a EUR 500 million loan program for SMEs

Fry Electronics Team

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