Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Tuesday) said the new Microfinance Scheme, launched by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, will help small businesses in Meath to succeed. The Scheme, which is open for business, will provide funding to businesses who have been refused credit by the banks.
“The Government recognises that access to credit remains one of the biggest challenges facing small and medium businesses. Without sufficient access to credit, growth potential is stifled and in some cases businesses are forced to close. The Microfinance Fund is the latest initiative from Government to tackle this problem.
“Any business or sole trader employing up to ten people and with a turnover of less than €2 million who have been refused by the banks for loans of up to €25,000 can apply to the Scheme. It is expected to lend over €90 million over its ten-year timeframe, supporting 5,500 small businesses and creating up to 7,700 jobs.
“Small businesses are a vital source of local jobs, and helping and supporting this sector will be essential in tackling our unemployment crisis. Through the Microfinance Scheme we are directly targeting small businesses and traders who want to grow their business and create jobs, but who are struggling to do so due to a lack of credit.
“The Microfinance Scheme will help existing businesses succeed and it will help start-ups to get off the ground. If we want entrepreneurs and business leaders to play a pivotal role in our recovery, we must ensure the right supports are in place. This new Scheme will provide loans primarily to newly established and growing microenterprises across all industry sectors. This is a significant change, as previous enterprise supports have been focused on the exporting sectors.
“The first port of call for anyone interested in the new Scheme should be their local County Enterprise Board, which can help applicants put business cases together. The Scheme is being run by Microfinance Ireland, and further details can be found at www.microfinanceireland.ie.
“Through the Microfinance Scheme, and a range of other supports introduced under the Action Plan for Jobs including the Loan Guarantee Scheme, the Development Capital Scheme and the Innovation Fund, the Government is committed to giving viable businesses the support they need to succeed and create jobs.”