Fine Gael Councillor, Gordon Hughes has urged small local businesses who have been refused credit by the banks to apply to the Government’s new Microfinance Scheme. The €90 million scheme has been available to businesses since the beginning of October. “This new scheme will be of huge benefit to small businesses in Leitrim which have been refused traditional sources of finance.
Any business or sole trader employing up to ten people who have been refused by the banks for loans of up to €25,000 can apply. Over the ten-year lifetime of the Scheme it is expected that over €90 million will be provided to 5,500 small businesses with the creation of up to 7,700 jobs,” Cllr Hughes explained. “The Government recognises the challenges facing small businesses which are desperately struggling to stay afloat. Access to credit has long been identified as one of the biggest hurdles for micro-enterprises.
Through this new Scheme we are directly targeting those small businesses and traders who want to grow their business and create jobs, but who are finding that they are being blocked from credit. “Small businesses are playing a vital role in our economy. They are an outlet of innovation and creativity, as well as being an essential source of employment in local communities.
The Government wants to ensure that a wider range of businesses which are refused credit by the banks can access it through alternative sources. The Microfinance Scheme will not only help existing businesses to move forward, it will also help other start-ups to get off the ground,” he continued. “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 stepping in to make sure viable businesses are given the support they need to succeed and create jobs,” he said. “County and City Enterprise Boards will actively help applicants to get their business cases together, and I am confident that thousands of small businesses across the country stand to benefit. Further details can be found at http://www.microfinanceireland.ie.”