Irish Government reveals further Covid loan scheme

Low-cost Covid-19 scheme open to SMEs including farmers, fishers and food businesses.

The Irish /Government has launched the Covid-19 Loan Scheme to help businesses that are still trying to get back on their feet after the pandemic challenges of recent years.

The Covid-19 Loan Scheme (‘CLS’) is a State-backed loan scheme, offering SMEs, including farmers, fishers, food businesses and small mid-caps, loans of between €25,000 and up to €1,500,000, with terms of one to six years and unsecured up to €500,000.

“As the economy transitions into the post-pandemic phase, this new Scheme will be of significant benefit to Irish SMEs during the recovery period and beyond”

Finance provided is competitively priced and some refinance can be availed of to help with any existing short-term credit a business may have.

Covid-19 Loan Scheme

The CLS is in response to the required closure of the Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme (CCGS) at the end of June 2022, which is a consequence of the cessation of the European Commission’s COVID-19 State-Aid Framework at this time.

The CLS benefits from support from the European Investment Bank Group through the European Commission’s “European Guarantee Fund”.

The Scheme is delivered by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), through participating lenders and information on the application process can be found on the SBCI website.

“The new COVID-19 Loan Scheme will support SMEs throughout Ireland as they continue to deal with the economic effects of the pandemic,” explained June Butler, CEO of SBCI.

“The SBCI is delighted to add this guarantee loan scheme to its range of SME-friendly finance options and enable even more SMEs get access to low-cost, flexible finance. As the economy transitions into the post-pandemic phase, this new Scheme will be of significant benefit to Irish SMEs during the recovery period and beyond. Offering discounted State-backed lending, this Scheme will continue to help Irish businesses prosper and grow sustainably into the future.”

As of end of May 2022 the CCGS had helped 10,357 SMEs in Ireland with access to finance of €730.2m.

“There are currently more people employed in Ireland than ever before in the history of the State. That would have been unimaginable a few months ago even,” said Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD.

“However, many businesses are still getting back on their feet after what has been an incredibly challenging period. I know Putin’s war on Ukraine has caused more uncertainty.

“These State-backed loan schemes are working well. The existing Covid Credit Guarantee Scheme helped more than 10,000 SMEs access low-cost credit. This successor scheme will give SMEs, including farmers, fishers and food businesses, the option to access really competitively priced loans, should they need to avail of that option, in addition to the other help that is available. It’s about giving SMEs as many options as possible.”

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.