Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure IE-2022-1/2963 – measures in Ireland
|Country||Ireland , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 01 January 2022|
|Context||COVID-19, Restructuring Support Instruments, European Semester|
|Type||Other initiatives or policies|
Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
|Author||Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||28 October 2022 (updated 18 November 2022)|
The Access to Finance Hub was established as a single access point for SME funding, and which includes four key funding schemes. It also provides a credit review service for SMEs as well as links to other types of supports available to SMEs. The Finance Hub caters for event-specific funding, such as COVID-19 and Brexit, as well as continuous funding.
This instrument has replaced the SME Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) .
The funding available is for start-ups and early stage companies as well as established companies seeking to scale up operations.
The four main funding schemes are:
The COVID-19 Loan Scheme: Provides loans with terms of one to six years. This scheme is available to eligible businesses in Ireland, including those in the primary agriculture (farmers) and seafood sectors to respond to the impacts of COVID-19. Finance provided under the scheme is competitively priced and offered at favourable terms. Loans range from €25,000 to €1.5 million per eligible business, with loans up to €500,000 available unsecured.
The Brexit Impact Loan Scheme: Makes up to €330 million in lending available for terms of one to six years. This scheme is available to eligible businesses in Ireland, including those in the primary agriculture (farmers) and seafood sectors as they respond to the dual-impacts of Brexit and COVID-19. Finance provided under the scheme is competitively priced and offered at favourable terms. Loans range from €25,000 to €1.5 million per eligible business, with loans up to €500,000 available unsecured.
The Future Growth Loan Scheme: Makes up to €800 million of loans available for terms of 7-10 years. This scheme is available to eligible businesses in Ireland, including those in the primary agriculture (farmers) and seafood sectors, to support strategic long-term investment. Finance provided under the scheme is competitively priced and offered at favourable terms. The scheme first launched with a total funding of €300 million in 2019. The additional €500 million under the expanded scheme will be made available through participating financial providers.
Microenterprise Loan Fund: Provides support in the form of loans for up to €25,000, available to start-up, newly established, or growing micro-enterprises employing less than 10 people, with viable business propositions, that do not meet the conventional risk criteria applied by banks.
The Hub also provides access to a Credit Review function which helps SMEs that have been refused credit from the major lending institutions.
For the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme, in the second quarter of 2022, 1,024 loans were drawn to a value of €121.6 million.
For the Future Growth Loan Scheme, in the second quarter of 2022, 3,444 loans were drawn to a value of €725.5 million.
For the Microenterprise Loan Scheme, the following statistics are available for the January 2019 - June 2022 period:
Total Amounts loaned:
|Does not apply to workers||
||Does not apply to citizens|
National Recovery and Resilience Facility
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||No involvement||No involvement|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
There are no expressed views of the social partners, as it is not in their domain. The Hub is a portal for SME financing.
Eurofound (2022), Access to Finance Hub, measure IE-2022-1/2963 (measures in Ireland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/IE-2022-1_2963.html
30 January 2023
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.