There is some welcome news for small businesses in Mayo which have been refused credit by the banks. Under a new Government scheme, operated by Microfinance Ireland, the owners of ‘micro-enterprises’ and new start-ups can now apply through the Mayo County Enterprise Board for loans of up to €25,000.
The scheme is aimed at existing and start-up businesses in Mayo with fewer than 10 employees and a turnover of less than €2m; loans can be used towards business start-up costs, expansion plans, or general working capital.
Nationwide, the 10 year scheme is expected to assist 5,500 micro-enterprises, helping to create an estimated 7,700 jobs.
To be eligible to apply for a loan, Microfinance Ireland has said that small business owners must have a commercially viable business proposal and must have been turned down for credit by a bank. In those cases, business owners and new start-ups are being encouraged to talk to the Mayo County Enterprise Board, which will assist them with the application process. Where assistance with the application process is not required, existing businesses and start-ups may apply directly to Microfinance Ireland, through www.microfinanceireland.ie Welcoming the roll-out of the scheme across the country, the chairperson of Microfinance Ireland, Geraldine Kelly, said: “Over the 10 years of this scheme, we hope to provide up to €90 million in lending to micro-enterprises and new start-ups across Ireland, helping to create and sustain jobs locally in those businesses.”
She added: “Importantly, this scheme is open to sole traders, partnerships and limited companies, which employ less than 10 people, across all industry types and business sectors. Working in partnership with the County and City Enterprise Boards, our doors are now open for business in every county.”
Set-up through the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation under the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, the Microfinance Loan scheme was announced in September of this year by Minister Richard Bruton.
Contact details for the local County and City Enterprise Board can be found at www.enterpriseboards.ie and further information on the application process is also available from www.microfinanceireland.ie