Covid credit guarantee program extended until June

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The Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme for Small and Medium Enterprises was extended at the end of June, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, said today.

Low-cost loans will continue to be available to Irish SMEs through a wide range of lenders, including three banks, six non-bank finance providers and 19 credit unions.

Unsecured loans of up to €250,000, at reduced interest rates, are available for SMEs, primary producers and businesses employing fewer than 500 people.

Since its inception in September 2020, the program has approved loans to more than 9,000 businesses – the fastest rollout of such a level of business lending in state history.

Continuing the program for another six months will provide options for small businesses that need increased liquidity as they move into a changed but more stable business environment.

The Tánaiste said he estimates more than 63,000 jobs have been maintained, which otherwise would have been at risk without the program.

“Expanding this program will give businesses a level of certainty that if they need cash, they will be able to access low-cost, unsecured loans of up to €250,000. This will help businesses react to developments in course and to take advantage of all the opportunities in the months to come,” said Leo Varadkar.

“In the aftermath of the last recession, access to credit for viable but vulnerable businesses was a huge problem. Businesses that might have survived failed, jobs were lost, and even businesses that were doing well were unable to get the loans they needed to grow or invest. “said Mr. Varadkar.

“The situation is very different today. It guarantees easier access to credit, lower interest rates and longer repayment periods for businesses than would otherwise be the case,” he said. added.

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