Recent global events, including the invasion of Ukraine, have led to a rise in global energy costs. The Government has already implemented a number of measures to help ease the impact on enterprises including:
- a temporary reduction in the excise duties charged, by 20 cent per litre of petrol, 15 cent per litre of diesel, and 2 cent in the excise duty charged on marked gas oil
- for hauliers, a temporary licensed haulage grant scheme providing a payment of €100 per week to help mitigate the rising price of fuel for a period of eight weeks
There are also a number of other Government supports and resources available to help mitigate the impact of these price rises on enterprises and reduce energy usage:
Climate Toolkit 4 Business allows SMEs to input some simple information and get an estimate of their carbon footprint and a personalised action plan to reduce it.
Green for Micro
Green for Micro - Local Enterprise Office offers two days of intensive mentoring including green transition advice and technical support to a wide range of micro-enterprises with 10 or fewer employees. This support is free of charge for eligible enterprises and represents the potential for increased efficiencies within companies that adopt these principles.
Lean for Micro
Lean for Micro - Local Enterprise Office is available to LEO clients to help build resilience within micro enterprises.
Under this programme, clients can avail of consultancy support with a LEAN Expert (a qualified practitioner), who will work with the company to introduce lean principles, undertake a specific cost savings project and assist the company in benchmarking its performance.
The LEO Lean for Micro business programme helps to:
- identify issues and potential improvement areas
- provide support to implement
- achieve savings and improvements in capability and capacity to deliver
Climate Action Voucher
The Climate Action Voucher - Enterprise Ireland is an €1,800 grant to engage consultants to develop an initial sustainability or circular economy action plan.
GreenStart - Enterprise Ireland offers up to €5,000 to introduce environmental best practice systems and structures and lay a foundation for future environmental improvement projects including energy and carbon management systems.
GreenPlus - Enterprise Ireland provides grant funding for 50% of training costs to align to international standards and frameworks and to develop a comprehensive climate change and sustainability plan.
Research, Development and Innovation
Innovation Vouchers - Enterprise Ireland: Grant funding up to a maximum of €5,000 to explore a business opportunity or problem with a registered knowledge provider in the areas of sustainability and decarbonisation
Exploring Innovation Grant - Enterprise Ireland: Grant funding up to a maximum grant of €35,000, based on a grant rate of 50% to enable better planning in the areas of sustainability and decarbonisation
Agile Innovation Fund - Enterprise Ireland: Grant support up to 50% for the development of new or improved products, services or processes, in the areas of sustainability and decarbonisation
Research, Development and Innovation Fund - Enterprise Ireland: Supporting the development of new or substantially improved products, services or processes, in the areas of sustainability and decarbonisation, which will have a competitive advantage in a company’s target market and provide enhanced customer experience
Given the simultaneous impact of Brexit, COVID-19 and the Ukraine crisis on businesses, the State backed loan schemes will meet the needs of many SMEs seeking to respond to these economic shocks. The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) and the finance providers participating in the State backed loan schemes can advise SMEs on their eligibility for these loans.
Brexit Impact Loan Scheme
The Brexit Impact Loan Scheme - SBCI makes up to €330 million in lending available for terms of one to six years. Loans range from €25,000 to €1.5 million per eligible business, with loans up to €500,000 available unsecured. The BILS will remain available to the end of December 2022.
Credit Guarantee Scheme
The SME Credit Guarantee Scheme - SBCI makes up to €2 billion in lending available for terms of up to 5.5 years. This scheme is available to eligible businesses including those in primary agriculture (farmers) and seafood sectors as they respond to the impact of COVID-19. Loans range from €10,000 to €1 million per eligible business, with loans up to €250,000 available unsecured. The scheme will remain available until 30 June 2022.
Future Growth Loan Scheme
The Future Growth Loan Scheme - SBCI makes lending available to SMEs and small mid-caps seeking financing for long-term strategic investment. Loans range from €25,000 to €3 million per eligible business, with loans up to €500,000 available unsecured. Close Brothers remain open to new applicants.
Microfinance Ireland loan packages
Microfinance Ireland (MFI) provide loans to help start-ups and established microenterprises (businesses with fewer than 10 employees and an annual turnover of less than €2 million) to get the finance they need for their business. MFI provides vital support to microenterprises by filling the lending gap in the market by lending to business that cannot obtain loans from other commercial lenders. Also, mentoring can be provided from an experienced business mentor in the Local Enterprise Office (LEO). Loans range from €5,000 to €25,000 for up to 5 years per eligible microenterprise business.