Brexit Loan Scheme opens for business applications

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) Brexit Loan Scheme is now open to businesses to apply for.

The €300 million scheme is offered in partnership with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

It is also supported by the InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments.

The loans are available through AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank. Approval of loans is subject to the bank’s own credit policies and procedures.

A spokesperson confirmed that Bank of Ireland has a €128 million share of the €300 million scheme.

It should be noted that businesses that are involved in the primary agricultural and/or aquacultural sector are ineligible to apply; a separate agri-loan scheme will open to the agricultural sector later this year.

The scheme is aimed at businesses which export or import products, services or raw materials to or from the UK. It is also aimed at those indirectly exposed to the UK, such as by transacting products, services or raw materials with an enterprise that is directly exposed to the UK.

Such supports are indirectly important to the agri-food industry and exports – particularly for infrastructure and trade.

Loan features

Loan amounts of between €25,000 to €1.5 million are available per eligible enterprise.

There is a maximum interest rate of 4% and loan terms range from one year to three years. Unsecured loans of up to €500,000 are available, while optional interest-only repayments may be available at the start of the loans.

The loan amount and term is dependent on the loan purpose.

Loans can be used for:

  • Future working capital requirements;
  • To fund innovation, change or adaptation of the business to mitigate the impact of Brexit.

Who can apply

Viable micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and ‘Small MidCap’ enterprises that meet the eligibility criteria can apply for loans.

SMEs are defined by the Standard EU definition (Commission Regulation 2003/361/EC) as enterprises that:
  • have fewer than 250 employees;
  • have a turnover of €50 million or less (or €43 million or less on its balance sheet);
  • are independent and autonomous (i.e. not part of a wider group of enterprises);
  • have less than 25% of their capital held by public bodies;
  • are established and operating in the Republic of Ireland.

A ‘Small Mid-Cap’ is an enterprise that is not an SME but has fewer than 500 employees.

Relevant businesses must also satisfy one of both a selection of ‘Brexit’ and ‘Innovation’ criteria to be eligible. For more information on the criteria and to apply, interested parties can find out more on the SBCI website.