Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Stephen Donnelly TD says the scale and timeframe of a new €300m fund for Irish businesses and farmers facing Brexit challenges needs to be more ambitious.
It is understood the fund will be available from March, with Minister Donohoe stating that it will be ‘available at a competitive rate to SMEs, including food businesses given their unique exposure to the UK market, to help them with their short-term working capital needs.’
Deputy Donnelly said, “This is a positive development but it’s important to note that the scale of the fund is small in the overall context of Brexit and the financial impact that it will have on businesses. Adaptation funding support is also needed beyond short-term requirements.
“Any affordable capital to help businesses meet the challenges of Brexit is welcome. However, based on the leaked Revenue report that 91,000 companies are affected, the fund would provide less than €3,300 each. Clearly that’s not enough. This type of fund needs to be offered further.
“As funds are raised via the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland, it leverages funds from retail banks, the European Investment Bank, and potentially other sources. It is a highly effective way of making funds available while not putting undue pressure on the public finances.
“We need to be more ambitious regarding the available capital targets. We need to make the case strongly in Europe that Ireland’s businesses are exposed to Brexit at a scale unlike any other EU member state. We need to provide such funding not just for short term needs, but on terms that allows firms access to affordable capital for at least five years.”