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COVID-19: Minister Humphreys announces major expansion of business supports for SMEs

Posted on Apr 9, 2020 at 1:21 pm in News by admin

€1 billion in liquidity measures available for SMEs

€180m Sustaining Enterprise Fund launched

  • Expansion of two SBCI Loan Schemes by €450m to provide an extra €250m for working capital and €200m for longer-term loans, bringing the total allocation to support liquidity in companies affected by the COVID-19 crisis to €650m
  • €180m Sustaining Enterprise Fund for firms in the manufacturing and international services sectors
  • Extension of supports for online trading to €7.6m
  • Expansion of Microfinance Ireland funding by €13m to €20m for COVID-19 loans with interest rates dropped from 7.8% to 4.5%
  • Free mentoring, free online training for all businesses

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, today announced a major expansion of supports for all businesses impacted by COVID-19. The package is now worth €1 billion in liquidity measures including a new €180m Sustaining Enterprise Fund for firms in the manufacturing and international services sectors. Free mentoring and online training are also available for all SMEs.

Minister Humphreys said:

This package is a significant step-up in the supports available for all businesses in all sectors at this very difficult time. The measures have been developed to meet the varying needs of Irish enterprise and they are very specifically targeted by size, sector and need.

The Minister continued:

The impact of COVID-19 presents unprecedented difficulties for businesses who have already spent the past three years preparing for the possible consequences of Brexit, but those preparations will stand to us.

I want to reiterate to firms that we will continue to use all available tools at our disposal to support them and keep money flowing through the economy in the difficult months ahead.

Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD added:

Businesses are experiencing unprecedented difficulty of varying degrees. Many have let staff go, many have retained staff through the Government’s Wage Subsidy Scheme and many are shifting their model to adapt to new circumstances. This package of measures being announced today is designed to offer supports to businesses of all hues, from start-ups to more established companies. It is vital that traders examine what is on offer, apply for schemes and loans, many of which are available at reduced rates, to give themselves the best chance of survival during this difficult time.

Commenting on the Trading Online Voucher Scheme for microenterprises, one of two online trading schemes to receive additional funding today worth a combined €7.6m, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton TD, said:

Trading Online Vouchers are a key government grant to help small and micro enterprises get online. The changes which we are announcing today will help companies, working with their Local Enterprise Office, to get online during this difficult period. This is particularly important when so many small businesses are closed. However, the value of the Trading Online Voucher will stand to your company for years to come, will boost your revenue, and will help you sustain and create jobs into the future.

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