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Liquidity and Access to Finance supports for COVID-19 impacted businesses, including farmers and fishers

Liquidity

In order to mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Government has engaged with the banks on the specific liquidity and financing needs of farmers, fishers and agri-food businesses. The need for the banks to support and work with their customers through this challenging period has been stressed. All the banks have announced flexibility for customers, including the provision of payment holidays or emergency working capital facilities. The advice is that farmers, fishers and agri-food businesses should engage with their bank at an early stage to discuss emerging cashflow issues.  DAFM continues to engage with the banks and the Department of Finance in this regard.

Access to Finance supports

Current eligibility for access to finance (liquidity) supports

Support

Agri-food businesses

Primary Production

Microfinance Ireland*

Yes

Yes

Credit Guarantee Scheme

Yes

No (see below)

SBCI Covid19 Working Capital Scheme

Yes

No

*The MicrofInance maximum loan amount has been increased to €50,000 for businesses impacted by COVID-19;

 

DAFM is engaged with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Finance on further liquidity and access to finance measures for impacted businesses: 

  • As announced recently[1], the expanded €2bn Credit Guarantee Scheme will provide working capital finance to small and medium enterprises and, unlike the current scheme, will include farmers and fishers. Work, which includes the enactment of primary legislation, is ongoing to bring this to market as soon as possible. The new Credit Guarantee Scheme will help SMEs impacted by COVID-19 related issues, including primary producers, to have access to sufficient working capital by providing counter guarantees to the banks, mitigating credit risk or the need for collateral. The arrangements will for terms ranging from 3 months to 6 years, and will be below market interest rates.
  • The €200million second tranche of the Future Growth Loan Scheme for capital investment, 40% (€80million) ring-fenced for farmers, fishers and agri-food SMEs.
  • The €375million Covid-19 Working Capital Loan Scheme – open to SMEs and mid-caps (i.e. up to 500 employees); an additional €125m is being added to €250m in funding reallocated from the Brexit Loan Scheme; 40% (€150m) of which is ring-fenced for food businesses and other agri-food businesses outside the farm gate (due to technical considerations arising from the InnovFin guarantee, the Scheme is not available to primary producers).

 

Further information on these and other supports is available via the following link:

https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/

 

[1] https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/210cf8-government-outlines-further-measures-to-support-businesses-impacted