The IFA has launched a guide to the €2bn COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme, aimed at providing Irish businesses, including those in the farming sector, with access to low-cost loans.
The scheme will provide an 80% guarantee on lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) until the end of this year.
Farmers and other SMEs will be able to go directly to the banks in the scheme and the guarantee can be used for a wide range of lending products between €10,000 and €1m that have a maximum term of six years.
IFA national farm business committee chairperson Rose Mary McDonagh said: “The banks have this money at their disposal and are very keen to lend it out before the 31 December deadline.
“While an applicant’s business must be negatively impacted by COVID-19, the business does not need to be in a position of severe financial distress.”
Businesses will be required to declare that their turnover or projected turnover has been reduced by 15% as a result of COVID-19.
The IFA has said farmers should not be turned off by this eligibility requirement, encouraging those who contracted the virus, suffered a drop in output prices, or were unable to sell livestock to apply.
Borrowings can be used for working capital, investment or refinancing of COVID-19 related debt. Participating finance providers will be AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank.
McDonagh has also renewed calls for the extension of the EU Temporary State Aid Framework into 2021 and an expanded Credit Guarantee Scheme to support farmers in the case of a no-deal Brexit.
To view the IFA guide to the Credit Guarantee Scheme, click here.