Healy O'Connor

SME Business Supports Impacted by COVID-19

COVID-19 impacted our lives in many ways. One of the groups that were hit the hardest by the worldwide epidemic consists of small and mid-size enterprises, which often struggled because of lockdown and imposed restrictions.

However, there are some SME Business Supports for COVID-19 related issues that can help financially. Let’s learn more about some of them.

Small and Medium Enterprises in Ireland

It is important to remember that many Business Supports for COVID-19 are addressed to small and medium-sized companies, also known as SMEs. Of course, the definition of such enterprises can vary between each country. However, in Ireland, we may distinct micro, small and medium businesses. Micro SMEs have less than 10 employees, small ones hire up to 50 workers, and medium ones have between 50 and 250 people in their workforce. It is no surprise that companies with a smaller number of employees are often the first ones to experience the results of such unprecedented events as COVID-19. Fortunately, The Government monitors the situation closely and continues to introduce SME Business Supports for COVID-19. 

COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme for SMEs

COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme supports businesses that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic and allow them to keep their liquidity. The program is directed, among others, to SMEs that have experienced at least 15% of adverse impact on their profits or turnover because of COVID-19. The loans range from €10,000 to €1 million and are granted for up to five-and-a-half years. COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme is led by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) and participating finance providers. Micro, small and medium-sized businesses can send their applications until 30th June 2021.

COVID-19 Funding for Future Growth Loan Scheme for SMEs

One of the propositions, which are highly beneficial to small and medium-sized companies, is the Future Growth Loan Scheme. This program gives longer-term loans to businesses affected by a coronavirus outbreak that can be repaid in a timeframe of 7 to 10 years. It is vital to note that amounts start at €25,000 and can go even up to €3,000,000. Loans have the maximum interest rate of 4.5% and if they are lower than €500,000, there is no security required. The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland is the organ responsible for this program and applications can be sent through their website.

Sustaining Enterprise Fund

Another SME Business Supports for COVID-19 related matters is the Sustaining Enterprise Fund. Support it offers is addressed to Irish firms heavily affected by the coronavirus outbreak. It focuses on companies operating in such sectors as manufacturing and internationally traded services. Businesses that want to apply for the Fund should hire 10 or more employees at full-time jobs and should have petitioned for funding, including financial institutions such as the SBCI COVID-19 Working Capital Loan Scheme. Under the program, there will also be a Small Enterprise Fund, concentrated on smaller businesses that struggle with their continuity.

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