The Government is expected to announce details of a new €200m scheme of enterprise supports for businesses suffering as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic early next week.
The measures will be aimed at the manufacturing and internationally traded sectors and were approved by the EU under a temporary framework governing state aid rules earlier this week.
Firms with 10 or more full-time employees which have seen their turnover decline by 15% or more since the coronavirus crisis began will be able to access the loans.
It is understood the fund will also be accompanied by a further €25m in additional supports to help micro-enterprises struggling with the current restrictions.
The new schemes will add to the existing suite of measures announced by the Government to help companies survive through the crisis.
Over 700 firms have applied for funding from the Government’s Covid-19 Working Capital Scheme.
790 email and 561 phone queries have also been received, according to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
So far 65 companies have had eligibility reference numbers issued by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland.
These are required before a firm can apply to a lender for the finance.
The €200m scheme supports loans from €25,000 up to €1.5m, with a maximum interest rate of 4%.
The number of applications for the Government’s Credit Guarantee Scheme is not known, the department said, as applications are made through banks.
That scheme offers loans of up to €1m for periods of up to seven years to small and medium sized firms, with a partial Government guarantee of 80% against losses.
97 applications for the COVID-19 Business Loan from Microfinance Ireland have also been received.
A further 852 enquiries have been made about the scheme.
According to the department, 35 applications have been approved, with a value of €878,000, with seven applications deemed ineligible and two declined
A further 50 applications are still in progress.
The scheme offers loans up to €50,000 with a six months interest free and repayment free moratorium.
The Government has also put in place a wage subsidy scheme to help employers, with almost 36,000 firms now registered and the cumulative value of payments made reaching €54m.
Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) have also approved 273 Business Continuity Vouchers since the crisis began.