Business Continuity Update - SBCI Covid-19 Working Capital Loan Scheme

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation announced a number of supports for businesses facing challenges being presented by the current Covid-19 situation.

The SBCI Covid-19 Working Capital Loan Scheme is now open for eligibility applications.

The Strategic Banking Corporate of Ireland (SBCI) Covid-19 Working Capital Scheme is offered in partnership with the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine and is supported by the InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments.

The loans will be available through AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank. Approval of loans are subject to the banks own credit policies and procedures. It should be noted that businesses cannot complete a loan application until they have received their eligibility letter from the SBCI.

Loan features

  • Loan amounts of between €25,000 to €1.5m per eligible enterprise (see the State Aid section below for further details).
  • Maximum interest rate of 4%.
  • Loan terms ranging from 1 year to 3 years.
  • Loans unsecured up to €500,000.
  • Optional interest-only repayments may be available at the start of the loans.
  • The loan amount and term is dependent on the loan purpose.

Loans can be used for

  • Future working capital requirements.
  • To fund innovation, change or adaptation of the business to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.
  • Refinance of undertakings in financial difficulties.
  • Refinance of existing debt (e.g. Terms Loans/Leases/Hire Purchase etc.)

Who can apply

Viable micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and Small MidCap enterprises that meet the eligibility criteria.
SMEs are defined by the Standard EU definition [Commission Regulation 2003/361/EC] as enterprises that:

  • have fewer than 250 employees;
  • have a turnover of €50 million or less (or €43 million or less on their balance sheet);
  • are independent and autonomous i.e. not part of a wider group of enterprises;
  • have less than 25% of their capital held by public bodies; and
  • is established and operating in the Republic of Ireland.

A Small Mid-Cap is an enterprise that is not an SME but has fewer than 500 employees.

Who cannot apply

SMEs/ Small Mid-Cap that:

  • Are involved in the primary agriculture and/or aquaculture sector.
  • Are in financial difficulty (excluding cashflow pressures caused by Covid-19 impact).
  • Are bankrupt or being wound up or having its affairs administered by courts.
  • In the last 5 years has entered in to an arrangement with creditors, in the context of being bankrupt or wound-up or having its affairs administered by the courts.
  • Are convicted of an offense concerning professional misconduct by judgement, fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering or any other illegal activity where such illegal activity is detrimental to the European Union’s financial interests.

Eligibility Criteria

SMEs/ Small Mid-Cap must satisfy the Covid-19 Criterion and one of the innovation criteria to qualify for the SBCI Covid-19 Working Capital Loan Scheme.

Covid-19 Criterion - The business is impacted by the Covid-19 virus resulting in business turnover/profitability being negatively impacted by a minimum of 15%.

You can find the innovation criteria here.