Exciting news is on the horizon for Irish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme (GSLS) is set to make its debut soon. Phase 1 recently launched with one lender – other lenders are expected to come on stream later in Q4. This initiative comes from the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) and is designed to empower Irish SMEs by providing them with accessible, low-cost loans spanning a 7 to 10-year term.
In this blog post, we’ll dive deeper into what this means, who qualifies for it, and its key features.
A two-phase launch
The Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme will be introduced in two phases, each with distinct focuses and objectives.
Phase 1 – Climate Action and Environmental Sustainability: This phase will kick off the scheme, allowing businesses to apply for loans dedicated to climate action and environmentally sustainable investments. It’s a significant step toward a greener future for Irish enterprises.
Phase 2 – General Long-Term Investment: Following Phase 1, Phase 2 will come into play, offering loans for general long-term investment. This phase is expected to launch in December 2023, and it promises a wider scope for SMEs to fuel their growth initiatives.
Key features of the GSLS loans
Here’s what you need to know about the GSLS Loans:
- Loan Amounts: You can secure loans ranging from €25,000 to a maximum of €3,000,000 per borrower. The exact amount depends on factors such as aid intensity and State aid thresholds.
- Discounted Interest Rates: GSLS loans come with discounted interest rates, making them a cost-effective choice compared to equivalent loans in the market.
- Flexible Terms: The loan terms are currently spanning from 7 years up to a maximum of 10 years, allowing SME owners time to invest and grow their business.
- Security: Loans up to €500,000 are unsecured, meaning no collateral is required. For loans exceeding €500,000, personal guarantees are limited up to 20% of the loan amount. Other security might be sought as appropriate to the application in the case of amount over €500,000
- Availability: GSLS loans will be available until June 30, 2026, or until the scheme reaches full subscription, whichever comes earlier. So, act fast to secure your funding.
Loan purpose – loans for growth
GSLS loans are designed to serve as long-term investments in your business’s growth and resilience. Here are some of the purposes for which you can use these loans:
- Investments in tangible or intangible assets
- Machinery or equipment
- Research and development
- Business expansion
- Premises improvement
- Process innovation
Loan purpose – loans for climate action and environmental sustainability
If your business is committed to climate action and environmental sustainability, GSLS has you covered. Your investments can fall into one of the following categories:
- Investment in green and sustainable measures
- Investments by SMEs classified as a Green/Sustainable Enterprise
- Investments by farmers holding a Green Eco Label
Moreover, qualifying climate action and environmentally sustainable loans are eligible for discounted interest rates, making them an attractive option for eco-conscious businesses.
To find out if you qualify for a Green Discount and to learn more about the Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme, visit the SBCI’s official website. Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme- SBCI
In order to be eligible for the loan, an SME or Small Mid-Cap must satisfy all of the following eligibility criteria
- It must be established in an EU Member State and operate in Ireland
- It should not primarily focus on industries excluded from the scheme
- It is not established in a non-compliant jurisdiction
- The SME should not be in significant loan or lease default, unless it’s been delinquent for less than 20 days and doesn’t pose a risk to the lender
- It must not be engaged in illegal activities
- It should not be a sanctioned person or in violation of restrictive measures
- It must not benefit from tax measures considered harmful under EU tax jurisdiction guidelines.
For more information on who can apply, please click HERE
Contact our Corporate Finance advisors
If you have further questions about the loan or would like to discuss how you can apply, please get in touch with our experts below.