Small businesses welcome the Future Growth Loan Scheme

March 27, 2019

The Small Firms Association (SFA), today welcomed the launch by the Government of the Future Growth Loan Scheme. 

SFA Director, Sven Spollen-Behrens stated “The UK’s vote to leave the EU has already posed considerable challenges to Irish businesses and significant further difficulties may be coming down the tracks. This scheme is an important element of Ireland’s response to Brexit. It will allow small firms to borrow for investments that will ensure their businesses are viable in the long-term and can survive the challenges ahead.

“I welcome the fact that this new scheme is targeted towards small firms including agri-food and seafood sectors. Feedback from our members suggests that many business owners are struggling to access credit and are using their own funds to meet financing needs. The ESRI’s announcement earlier today, that the rate of credit refusals for SMEs is running at twice the euro area average, is extremely worrying especially as so many of our finance providers continue to advertise their commitment to supporting small firms. 

“In a post-Brexit environment small firms will need loans for investment purposes, to help smooth their cash flow and working capital issues and to provide guarantees to tax authorities for importers and exporters who will face having to pay customs and tariffs at the point of entry when moving goods through Britain and Ireland. If the Government really want small firms to thrive and be Brexit ready, then a sufficient supply of credit to small firms is critical to ensure future business needs.