Two key financial consultancy grants are now available to enable the business engage with external consultants to assist in this essential process:
- Covid-19 Business Financial Planning Grant from Enterprise Ireland is a fully funded grant up to €5,000 for EI clients and certain domestic manufacturing and internationally traded service companies.
- Business Continuity Voucher through the Local Enterprise Office is a fully funded grant up to €2,500 for all business with less than 50 employees.
The objective of both of these supports is the same: to prepare the business to identify the nature and sources of potential supports and funding, whilst simultaneously preparing the required information to submit an application to funders.
In addition to the above grants, the full range of existing EI and LEO business supports are available to support businesses with details of new supports and initiatives to be announced shortly. EI supports are to be found here and LEO supports here.
Existing Bank Facilities
All businesses should engage with their existing bank relationship manager immediately. Banks are primed to support existing customers providing a range of mitigating options where possible, which will include;
- Principal and Interest moratorium on loans and leases for an initial 3 month period
- Increasing overdraft limit/ addition of an overdraft facility
- Draw down on pre-existing committed facilities
Should new facilities be required, it is worthwhile examining the applicability of the Credit Guarantee Scheme to assist in underpinning finance.
New Credit Lines
The SBCI COVID-19 Working Capital Loan Scheme is a €200m fund providing loans to fund future working capital requirements or to fund innovation, change or adaptation of a business to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
Key details as below:
- Loan amounts of between €25,000 to €1.5m per eligible enterprise
- Maximum interest rate of 4%
- Terms of 1 to 3 years
- Unsecured loans up to €500,000
- Optional interest-only repayments may be available at the start of the loans
An eligibility application is made to SBCI, which is then provided to one of the participating banks – AIB, BOI and Ulster Bank. A key component to an application is a robust business plan incorporating the impact of COVID-19. The grant support mentioned earlier should facilitate the cost of a financial adviser to assist in preparing the business plan.
There are also a number of Alternative Funders providing working capital and short term loans. Although the cost of finance is higher than traditional financial institutions, these lenders such as Linked Finance and Flender offer the ability to source finance quickly through a streamlined application process.
Microfinance Ireland has announced an increase in the maximum loan amount from €25,000 to €50,000 along with both interest and principal moratoriums for up to 6 months. As new supports and initiatives are launched we will ensure to keep you updated with the benefits and applicability of these.
For more information on any of the above, if you would like to talk to our Corporate Finance team or if you have any queries, we would be happy to hear from you.
Chris Ball - Corporate Finance Partner