The EU Commission has given its approval to the Irish government’s €200 million scheme to financially support businesses badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The scheme will allow companies involved in manufacturing or export industries struggling in the coronavirus crisis to access loans.
In order to qualify the firms must have ten or more full time employees and experience, or expect to experience, a decline in net sales of at least 15 percent.
“This measure will, in the form of repayable advances, help companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak to weather this crisis and bounce back strongly afterwards,” said Margrethe Vestager, Competition Commissioner.
The loan scheme was approved by the commission under a new temporary framework to relax state aid regulations which was adopted on March 19.
The fund will be administered by Enterprise Ireland as part of a suite of emergency supports to help Irish companies that are seriously and adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation said that it will be available to help company’s ensure they have the necessary liquidity to stay afloat in the medium term.
This scheme will run alongside, but separate from, another fund of €200m being administered by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland.
More details of the new scheme and financial supports are expected to be announced in the coming days.