Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Linked Finance has launched a new 'Deferred Start Loan' for businesses affected by the coronavirus.
The innovative 15-month loan allows businesses to borrow up to €100,000, with repayments due in 12 monthly instalments after the first three months, during which no interest or capital repayment will be paid.
The loan is aimed at businesses who need working capital at a time of reduced cashflow; it is also an option for SMEs moving fast to adapt to the new normal, for example by investing in their online services, buying a second hand van for deliveries, or paying for equipment to get their staff up and running working at home.
This is part of a package of measures Linked Finance has introduced to support businesses in every country of Ireland who are facing unprecedented challenges due to coronavirus," said Niall Dorrian, chief executive of Linked Finance.
"We hope the Government will consider our sector as a key channel that can be used to quickly deploy support to help SMEs that are the lifeblood of employment throughout the country.”
The first loan was offered on Monday to a business services firm and was funded in one second with the support of its large base of investors who are keen to back Irish SMEs at this time, the company said.
The process for application is the same as for Linked Finance’s usual loans, with businesses filling in an online form and providing very simple financial documents: two years of full accounts, six months bank statements and a tax clearance cert.
There are no assets secured against the loan so also no legal hurdles or fees involved, and early repayment can be made without penalty, it explained.
Other Financial Supports
Last week Linked Finance unveiled a range of other financial supports it is offering to existing borrowers and new SME customers during the coronavirus outbreak.
In a show of support to its borrowers in the hospitality trade who are playing their part in delaying the spread of Covid-19, the company said it has applied a blanket two-month payment break to all its loans across the restaurant, bar, pub and hotel trades.
Linked Finance also announced repayment flexibility on existing loans for businesses in other sectors, and is willing to consider a break in the repayment schedule of up to three months.
Since its launch in 2013 Linked Finance has provided loans totalling over €130 million, for more than 2,500 ambitious local businesses in every county of the country.
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