The Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme
The importance of sustainability and green investments cannot be overstated.
For small businesses, embracing eco-friendly practices and investing in greener assets is not merely a trend but a necessity for long-term growth and viability.
Contrary to the misconception that sustainability is costly, greener investments can stimulate significant long-term cost savings. Energy-efficient technologies and resource optimization can contribute to the bottom line of small businesses by lowering their operational expenses.
Moreover, consumers are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their choices. Small businesses prioritizing sustainability build a positive brand image, garnering trust and loyalty from customers who appreciate their commitment to responsible business practices.
To support the transition to sustainability of small businesses and stimulate and encourage green investments, the SBCI is offering the Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme in collaboration with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
This long-term, low-cost Scheme provides eligible small businesses with competitively priced loans of between €25,000 and €3 million and terms from seven to ten years, with loans of up to €500,000 available unsecured, thanks to an 80% government-backed guarantee.
Interested businesses can avail of this funding for strategic investments, such as smart meters for heating, cooling, lighting, gas, water and electricity; energy-efficient equipment and machinery, including the replacement of agricultural machinery; building upgrades, including solar panels, LED lighting and roof and wall insulation or business expansion and process innovation.
There is a simple two-step application process to apply for a loan under the Scheme.
First, applicants must register (or log in) on the SBCI Hub and submit an online eligibility application form to check if they are eligible for funding under the Scheme. Once the online form is completed, successful applicants will be issued with an eligibility code.
Secondly, applicants must provide this eligibility code to a participating on-lender to begin their credit application process.
The Scheme is now available through AIB and Bank of Ireland. AIB is open for growth and sustainability loans, while Bank of Ireland is currently open for sustainability loans only.
Additional on-lenders will be announced in the coming weeks; the on-lenders list on the SBCI website will always be up to date.
Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme
Examples of investments covered
· Loans from €25,000 up to €3 million
· Repayment terms from 7 to 10 years
· Loans unsecured up to €500,000
· Reduced interest rate
· Available until 30 June 2026.
· Building upgrades
· Automation/Control technology
· Machinery and equipment
· Business expansion
· Process innovation
Check SBCI website for more information.