DUBLIN, Ireland - The Irish government on Monday opened a new scheme to help small businesses prepare for Britain's exit from the single market and customs union at the end of next month.
The new Microfinance Ireland (MFI) Brexit Business Loan, will provide up to €25,000 to businesses whose turnover already is or is likely to fall 15% or more or if the business has a short term cash flow need as a result of Brexit. Loans will be made available for between six months and three years.
"I know it's been a really hard year, especially for our small, local businesses and imminent Brexit feels like another body blow on the way. This new loan is just one of the ways we are helping business to prepare. It will provide low cost finance of up to €25,000 and business owners can apply through MFI. 77% of MFI's lending is to businesses outside of Dublin, which is important as businesses all over Ireland will feel the negative effects of Brexit," the Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar said Monday.
"If you are a business owner and are wondering where to start, I'd recommend filling out our Brexit Readiness Checker first and having a look at what needs to be done in your business. Then please reach out and use the help that's there."
Damien English, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail added: "January 1st is fast approaching for many Irish businesses whose trade will be negatively impacted on as a result of Brexit. The MFI Brexit Business Loan scheme is an assured financial product that will provide some certainty to those sole traders and limited companies with fewer than 10 employees in Ireland as they continue to work through their Brexit readiness plans."
MFI CEO Garrett Stokes said Monday: "Businesses need to urgently start planning for the consequences of Brexit. While the impact will be greatest on exporters, importers need to determine their supply chain and source of imports and plan for any delays or changes required. Many businesses will be negatively impacted by Brexit or suffer a short term cash flow impact. The Microfinance Ireland Brexit Loan is ideally suited for businesses with these needs."