The new COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS ) will make low cost loans available to businesses in Westmeath impacted by the pandemic, according to Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Deputy Peter Burke.
“This scheme will be the largest credit guarantee scheme for businesses in the history of the State. It will ensure that SMEs, primary producers and small Mid-Caps locally can access liquidity to keep their businesses operating, as our economy continues to reopen and more and more people get back to work. It will be available for a wide range of products including overdrafts, term loans and working capital.
“The legislation is expected to go through the Oireachtas next week, allowing for its swift enactment. The changes being made to this scheme will bring our offering into line with similar schemes across Europe,” the Minister of State asserted.
Pandemic Unemployment Payment claims reduce
Meanwhile, the Fine Gael Minister of State has noted that approximately 1,000 people have closed their claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP ) since last week in Westmeath.
“While many people locally are still facing huge challenges as the economy reopens, it is encouraging to see the numbers relying on State aid reducing.
“I am acutely aware of the continuing challenges faced by so many families and individuals here in Westmeath and all over the country as a result of COVID-19.
“We are dealing with unprecedented circumstances and the PUP will continue to be available to those who need it.
“It is encouraging to see the numbers returning to work since the economy opened up further last week. This represents the highest number to return to work in a single week nationally since the crisis began.
“The top sectors in which employees are returning to work are accommodation and food services, other sectors e.g. hairdressers, barbers and wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles followed by the construction sector.
“It is promising to see so many people returning to work and my Fine Gael colleagues in Government will leave no stone unturned when it comes to getting Westmeath and Ireland back to full employment.
“Fine Gael’s Action Plan for Jobs showed steady success in growing employment after the last recession. This intense focus on job creation will be replicated again by this Government.” Minister Burke concluded.