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Enterprise Ireland announces ‘repayable’ fund for SMEs

Enterprise Ireland has a Business Response Unit, and in these times, it has been busy.

Over 1,000 businesses have engaged with the unit since March, with 60% of those companies saying Covid-19 has had a very negative or critical impact on their business.

Financial planning was listed as one of the key priorities identified by client companies in responding to the crisis. 34% of firms have engaged with a financial institution, and one in three have put a financial plan in place.

As part of the Sustaining Enterprise Fund recently announced by the Government, Enterprise Ireland today announced that it will administer a specific Sustaining Enterprise Fund for Small Enterprises.

This fund will provide a €25k to €50k short term funding injection to eligible smaller companies to support business continuity and to strengthen their ability to return to growth. Eligible companies will have suffered, or be projected to suffer, a 15% or more reduction in actual or projected turnover or profit as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said many businesses are facing acute challenges particularly around cashflow, investment and holding onto the skills that they worked so hard to recruit. 

“Our focus is on supporting companies through this period, getting the right advice and access to funding that they may need,” she said. “Cash flow and business continuity are key at this point. To help in these critical areas, the €180 million Sustaining Enterprise Fund will provide repayable advances of up to €800K, while smaller businesses can access repayable funding of up to €50k to support business continuity. We are in constant contact with our clients about the range of Enterprise Ireland supports and wider Government supports available to them.”

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys said the Government last weekend announced an expansion of supports for all businesses impacted by Covid-19 by €6.5bn.

“We now have a comprehensive suite of supports for firms of all sizes, which includes grants, low-cost loans, write-off of commercial rates and deferred tax liabilities, all of which will help to improve cashflow amongst our SMEs.

Enterprise Ireland also said that its innovative High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) Fund, which provides up to €800k for innovative technology companies will help start-ups to maintain liquidity and sustain their businesses in the short to medium term.

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