The €300 million Future Growth Loan Scheme was launched today by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed, and Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Humphreys said, “With Brexit on the horizon, investment in innovation and diversification has never been more important”.
“For this reason, I would strongly encourage businesses to started putting their proposals together now so that they are ready to start the application process with the SBCI,” she continued.
“Even if firms are unsure if they will draw down a loan, it’s a good idea to have approval in place in case it’s something they need down the line. Notwithstanding the uncertainty that comes with Brexit, it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
The funding allocations for the Future Growth Loan Scheme are €37 million from the Department of Business and €25 million from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Minister Creed also welcomed the move as a “long-awaited source of finance for you and new entrant farmers”. The funding ensures that at least 40% of the fund will be made available to farmers, agri-food, and seafood businesses.
Food Drink Ireland (FDI), the Ibec group rink sector, welcomed the announcement of the future growth loan scheme for SMEs and farmers.
Paul Kelly, director of FDI, said that the lack of long-term investment financing has been a critical issue for food companies and farmers.
“This welcome development will make it more feasible for companies to invest in enabling technology, plant renewal and expansion, refinancing, market development and innovation, particularly in a post Brexit environment,” Kelly said.
However, he warned that additional measures would be required in the event of a hard Brexit, suggesting a temporary EU state aid framework to support companies through any adjustment period.
He estimated that funding amounting to 5% of the value of current annual export sales to the UK will be needed annually for three years from domestic and EU sources to help Irish companies continue to grow.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.