Legislation launched to enable major expansion of two emergency COVID-19 loan schemes

Jun 02, 2020

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, T.D., has published the Microenterprise Loan Fund Amendment Bill 2020. The Bill, which was approved by Government on Friday 29 May 2020, will significantly beef up Microfinance Ireland, which provides low cost COVID-19 loans to Ireland’s smallest businesses. It will also enable a significant expansion of the Future Growth Loan Scheme, mainly aimed at supporting SMEs.

This announcement could lead to a higher take up of the loan schemes, as it has emerged that in the two months since its initial launch at the end of March, only €11 million in lending to 400 businesses has been approved under the scheme. While this is almost double the total loans of €6 million approved by MFI for the whole of last year, the sum is still small in proportion to the high number of SMEs adversely impacted by the pandemic.

The Acts amended will be the Microenterprise Loan Fund Act 2012 and the European Investment Fund Act 2018.