10 October 2017
By Mary Bermingham
Cork Senator, Tim Lombard, welcomed today’s Budget 2018 announcement that €300 million has been allocated to a Brexit Loan Scheme for small and medium business enterprises (SMEs).
Senator Lombard said: “The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in conjunction with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation have formulated a Brexit Loan Scheme to assist SMEs across the country.
“Under this new scheme there is funding up to €300m available at a competitive 4% interest rate to SMEs, including food businesses, to assist with short-term working capital needs.
“I am delighted to see the expansion of the low interest loans initiative. The previous budget financed a similar Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme, the success of which was immense. Barely any of this fund remains indicating that there is a great appetite out there for low interest loans.
“I know from talking to local business owners that cashflow difficulties are a real concern after recent changes in the sterling exchange rate and commodity prices in certain sectors.
“SMEs are the backbone of our economy, critical to local communities as a source of employment and commerce. They are a major driving force of our rural economies and require support to mitigate against the uncertainty of Brexit.
“The Brexit Loan Scheme will help stimulate and stabilise economy and job creation for SMEs, enabling growth of more stable employment for Ireland as well as the long-term sustainability of our economy.”