Figures released by Microfinance Ireland reveal that a record number of 397 loans totaling €5.4 million were approved in 2016, supporting the creation and sustaining of 990 jobs, which also represents a record number of jobs supported in one year.
This brings to 2,811 the number of new jobs supported by MFI through €17 million in approved loans to 1,167 businesses since it was established as part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs in late 2012.
The MFI Annual Results for 2016, announced by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D. shows a strong regional spread of loans with counties Dublin (73), Cork (29), Galway (26), Tipperary (26), Wexford (24), Limerick (20), Clare (18), Longford (18) Waterford (15) and Mayo (14) performing particularly well across a range of businesses. MFI approved loans in all 26 counties.
MFI offers four separate loan packages* ranging between €2,000 and €25,000 to start-ups or established businesses who want to scale up, all with no fees or hidden costs. Businesses given funding in 2016 come from a diverse range of sectors , including Retail, Wholesale , IT, Hospitality, Transport, Professional Services, Social and Support Services, Construction and the Arts.
MFI also offers expert one-to-one mentoring to approved loan applicants through Local Enterprise Offices, increasing the chances of small businesses achieving commercial success, and helping to sustain jobs in the longer term.
In July 2016 Microfinance Ireland reduced its interest rates on loans by 1 per cent to a fixed rate of 6.8 per cent APR for applications received through Local Enterprise Offices, Local Development Companies and Banks. It has a fixed rate of 7.8% APR for directly received applications.
* The four loans packages offered by MFI are:
• Start Up Loan of between €5,000 and €25,000, with 5 free mentoring sessions. To support the set-up and early phase stage of a new business up to 18 months old.
• Cashflow Loan of between €5,000 and €25,000, with up to 3 free mentoring sessions. Supporting cash flow and day-to-day running costs for businesses in operation over 18 months.
• Expansion Loan of between €5,000 and €25,000, with up to 3 free mentoring sessions. Supporting the development and expansion of established businesses.
• Small Loan of between €2,000 and €5,000, and one free mentoring session, with interest only payments for the first three months and credit decisions made within 72 hours.
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