Credit Guarantee Scheme is a useful addition in suite of supports, but business still needs more from Government

County Wexford Chamber welcomes the launch of the new Credit Guarantee Scheme, and encourages businesses to make full use of the range of state supports available.

Speaking this afternoon, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said,

“The new Scheme is an ambitious new initiative, where 80% of borrowings will be backed by the State. Interest rates will also be offered at a much lower rate than other more traditional business loans. While debt won’t suit all businesses, for those who are eligible, we encourage them to explore this offering and apply as soon as possible.

Under state aid rules, loan applications will only remain open until the end of 2020. This leaves just over three months to apply and to receive approval. It is imperative that businesses are supported in progressing their applications as speedily as possible.

COVID-19 has had a detrimental impact on the business community. The publication of the Q2 quarterly accounts earlier today show that GDP was reduced by 6.1%, a bigger quarterly reduction than the worst days of the crisis in 2008. The economic impact of the pandemic is far from over and we now face into the winter and several months of difficult trading conditions for businesses, particularly in the hospitality, tourism and retail space.

While the launch of the Credit Guarantee Scheme today is very welcome, businesses need more from Government. We reiterate our call from last week to improve the supports that are already available. This includes reforming the EWSS, which is transitioning to €203 per week and may involve a seven-week delay in payment of the subsidy to businesses. These new changes could seriously undermine the objective of the Subsidy, which is to support business cash-flow so that jobs can be protected.

We urge Government to work with the business community to ensure that a co-ordinated national strategy is put in place to support local economies and communities as we continue to grapple with the threat of the COVID-19 virus.”