Mr. John Perry, TD, Minister for Small Business, has formally launched a new loan scheme for Sligo businesses. The scheme is available to small businesses, including promoters starting up a business and sole traders, from across all sectors of the economy, employing up to ten people and with a turnover of up to €2 million. They must have a commercially viable proposal and have been refused credit by their banks.
Full details on the applications process can be accessed through Sligo County Enterprise Board’s website – www.sligoenterprise.ie or by calling to the offices of the Board in the Development Centre in Cleveragh Road.
Businesses that are eligible to participate in the scheme must have a commercially viable business that has been declined credit by a bank. Loans of up to €25,000 are available for such businesses, be they existing small businesses or prospective small businesses that have not as yet started up and are seeking funding to get off the ground. Businesses availing of this loan finance are also eligible to apply to Sligo County Enterprise Board for grant aid to assist them to start up or to develop further, provided the proposal meets the separate eligibility criteria applicable for funding through the Board.
Applicants for loans must complete an application form, prepare a business plan and provide three year cashflow projections to Sligo County Enterprise Board. The Board will then evaluate the application and make a recommendation which will be provided to Micro Finance Ireland for final decision.
Nationally, there will be around €90 million available to small businesses under the scheme over the coming years. It is anticipated that 5,500 micro-enterprises will be assisted through the scheme and an estimated 7,700 jobs created. The loan scheme will deliver on one of the key commitments under Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2012.
Making the announcement, Minister Perry said: “The Government’s Microfinance Scheme will provide up to €90million in lending nationally to 5,500 businesses which otherwise would not get credit. It will contribute to the creation of an additional 7,700 jobs as well as to the sustaining of many more existing jobs. The scheme is a key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. Given the scale of the economic difficulties being faced not alone in Ireland but also elsewhere, this is one of the significant elements of the Government’s drive to reduce unemployment and get our people back to work. The scheme responds to the many reports of difficulties in obtaining credit in the market place.
"My colleague, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, has recently launched this scheme nationally and I am delighted to launch it locally in Sligo. I hope and indeed expect that it will prove of real benefit to the economy in Sligo over the coming years and have been assured by Sligo County Enterprise Board that they will play a full part in promoting the scheme and in assisting eligible clients to participate”.
Mr. John Reilly, CEO of the Enterprise Board, said that he is looking forward to receiving applications from eligible business people, including those who are not currently clients of the Board. He emphasised that the scheme is open to all sectors and that it can be used as matching finance for grant aid provided by the Board to eligible clients. Existing business or, in cases where someone is thinking about starting up - their business idea - must be commercially viable. Interested business people should contact the Board through its website or by calling to its offices and every assistance possible will be offered to them. On receipt of an application, the Board will make a recommendation to Microfinance Ireland, which is a small organisation constituted with the specific remit of delivering funding to micro-enterprises nationally. Microfinance Ireland will make the decision as to whether funding should be allocated.