New Microfinance Ireland Covid-19 Fund requires greater ease of access

SME Recovery Ireland has today (31.08.20) welcomed a new €15m Covid-19 Fund announced by Microfinance Ireland to support small businesses but cautioned that ease of access to the loan scheme must be improved for small businesses.

Commenting, Chair of SME Recovery Ireland, John Moran said: “While this announcement is a welcome addition to the funding landscape, the extent of paperwork required for completion to apply for the scheme is excessive. Small business owners are already under immense pressure to keep their doors open on a day-to-day basis and the time required to fill out the details and forecasts required as part of the application process is quite simply a luxury they cannot afford and will act as a deterrent.”

Small business owners who wish to apply to the Fund must complete and provide:

  • COVID-19 loan application form.
  • COVID 19 business plan.
  • Cashflow forecast.
  • Six months of bank statements.
  • Central Credit Register (CCR) report. For limited companies this must include a personal credit report from CCR for all shareholders and / or Directors with a 25 per cent or shareholding in the Company.

Mr Moran added: “It is also disappointing to see 4.5 to 5.5 per cent APR being charged on these loans. While there is 0 per cent interest and zero repayments for the first six months, the rates that apply thereafter are too high when compared to European standards. Ultimately it is our belief that the provision of small loans is kicking the problem down the road when really what is required for our small businesses is a major cash injection in the form of grants.”For further information on SME Recovery Ireland, visit:

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