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David Stanton, Fine Gael TD for Cork East, has encouraged small businesses in the East Cork area who have been refused credit by the banks to apply to the Government’s new Microfinance Scheme. The Microfinance scheme, launched last week by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD has a total fund of €90 million. It opened for applications on Monday, 1st October.

“The purpose of this new scheme is to assist small businesses who have been refused traditional finance options from banks and lenders. Any sole trader or business employing under 10 people who have been refused loans of up to €25,000 can apply under the new scheme. The scheme will run over the next ten years and it is envisaged that is will provide support for up to 5,500 small businesses over this period.

“Small businesses play a vital role in our economy being an essential source of local employment and an outlet of innovation and creativity. However in the current climate many small businesses are trying desperately to stay afloat with access to credit being identified as one of the main problems. The Microfinance Scheme will not only help existing businesses who are refused credit, to move forward, it will also help other start-ups to get off the ground.

“The Microfinance Scheme and supports introduced under the Action Plan for Jobs such as the Loan Guarantee Scheme, the Development Capital Scheme and the Innovation Fund are all geared towards helping to support the development of viable businesses. County and City Enterprise Boards will actively help applicants to get their business cases together, and I am confident that through this joined up approach, thousands of small businesses across the country will benefit. The Microfinance Scheme, run by Microfinance Ireland, began accepting applications on Monday, October 1st. Further details can be found at