Small businesses in Laois should apply for a new loan to help them prepare for Britain’s exit from the single market and customs union at the end of this year, Leas-Cathaoirleach and Laois County Councillor Conor Bergin has said.
This new scheme will enable businesses to apply for loans from €5,000 to €25,000 with terms ranging from six months to three years.
An interest rate of 4.5% will be applied if the application is submitted through the Local Enterprise Office Network or other referral partners. While a 5.5% rate is applied if the business applies directly.
Any business, sole Trader, partnership or limited company, with less than 10 employees and annual turnover of up to €2 million is eligible to apply.
They can also apply if they are unable to secure finance from a Bank or commercial lending provider and business turnover is or potentially could be impacted by a minimum of 15% or the business has a short term cashflow need as a result of Brexit.
While Businesses involved in Alcohol Production are deemed to be an excluded sector for MFI Loans, they are eligible to apply for an MFI Brexit Loan.
Speaking as Chairperson of the Economic Development, Enterprise and Tourism Committee in Laois County Council, Cllr Bergin said “I know that Brexit will be challenging for businesses and they want to be prepared, so I welcome the opening of this new scheme by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar.
“Laois businesses can apply through their Local Enterprise Office Network or can apply directly to Microfinance Ireland (MFI).
“There are less than 50 days until the end of the transition period on 31 December. It is urgent that all businesses large and small in Laois now revisit their readiness plans.
“From 1 January, the UK will no longer apply the rules of the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union.
“This means that any business that moves goods from, to or through Great Britain will be subject to a range of customs formalities, SPS checks and other regulatory requirements that do not apply to such trade today.
“There is now an extensive range of training material and information available online on the Government’s new Brexit Information Hub to help businesses prepare for Brexit and the lasting change that it will bring. The hub can be accessed via Gov.ie/getbrexitready.”