Chambers Ireland Weekly Digest: 27th March 2017

  1. Enhanced Credit Guarantee Scheme Launched

Minister for Employment and Small Business, Mr Pat Breen TD, recently announced the launch of the new Credit Guarantee Scheme 2017.

Since 2012, under support from the Credit Guarantees Schemes some €65 million in bank loans were sanctioned for over 400 SMEs – for Working Capital, Purchase of Equipment, Product or Service Development, Purchase of Premises etc– and created or supported an estimated 2,500+ Irish jobs.

A subsequent Review pointed to a number of ways to further improve take up by SMEs of finance from this source and the new Scheme uses the new possibilities in the 2016 legislation to carry out the following reforms:-

  • Increase the level of risk of the State will take (80% of individual loans), so as to make it more attractive for finance providers to lend to SMEs;
  • Extend the scope to cover other financial product providers too, like lessors, invoice discounters etc; and
  • Extend the definition of loan agreements to include non-credit products such as invoice finance and leasing, and to include overdrafts.

The Scheme will be operated by the Strategic Banking Corporation Ireland. Further details and information on the Scheme will be available from DJEI and the SBCI websites.

  1. We Need Your Input: Burden Tracker Project (Provision of Food Information to Consumers)

The aim of this initiative is to   identify specific pieces of EU legislation that create significant burdens for businesses, with a particular focus on SMEs. The legislation that has been identified this year is Regulation No. 1169-2011 on the Provision of Food Information to Consumers. Some aspects of the legislation that have been identified as burdensome are as follows:

  • Obligation for food business operators in the catering and restaurant sector to provide allergen information
  • mandatory food information (art. 9)
  • storage conditions or conditions of use (art. 25)
  • mandatory nutrition declaration
  • restrictions to the presentation of the products (art. 34)
  • fair information practices (article 7)

Please circulate this note to your SME members who are working in the food industry, who may have encountered difficulties in implementing this legislation. We’re looking to collect data including; anecdotal evidence, estimates of additional costs incurred; inconsistencies in enforcement etc; and written testimonials from business. Please send your input or ask your members to contact directly before the 31st March 2017.

  1. European Entrepreneurship Education NETwork – Webinar on Moving financial education forward in Europe

Please find attached details of Eurochambres and EBF webinar for European Money Week 2017.

Webinar will take place on Tuesday 28th March 2017 from 13:00-13:45 CET

Register for the seminar HERE

ICC Statement on conclusion of 2017 G20 Finance Ministers meeting

John Danilovich, ICC Secretary General, said:

“We continue to face the challenge of global growth being too low and benefiting too few. This is the defining economic test of our times—and we urge all G20 economies to take concerted and urgent action to enable inclusive growth.

“A retreat into protectionism would be the wrong response to this challenge. Trade and globalisation are complex processes but at their heart are some simple truths. Trade means more choice for consumers. It means lower prices, so the money in your pocket goes further. Companies that trade are more competitive—and create more and better paid jobs. That’s why trade matters if we’re to deliver the increases in prosperity and reductions in inequality that G20 Finance Ministers rightly committed to realise this weekend.

“The global business community is naturally concerned by any weakening of the G20’s decade-long stance on resisting protectionism. We remain encouraged that discussions on this issue will continue in the coming months at official level. ICC will do all it can to urge G20 leaders to take the strongest possible stance on maintaining open markets at their annual summit in Hamburg in July. Protectionism is no path to progress.”