SBCI Covid-19 Loan Scheme

SBCI Covid-19 Loan Scheme (CLS)



The SBCI Covid-19 Loan Scheme (CLS) is offered in partnership with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE), the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), the European Investment Fund (EIF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The scheme is designed to support qualifying viable Irish businesses, including farmers and fishers, negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic by providing access to affordable medium-term finance, enabling them to recover and invest in their business.

It will run until 31 December 2022 or until it is fully subscribed.

Scheme Features:

  • Loan amounts from €25,000 to a maximum of €1,500,000 per borrower (loan amounts are dependent on aid intensity and State aid thresholds).
  • Loan terms of between 1 year up to 6 years (loan terms are dependent on the purpose of the loan).
  • Loans are unsecured up to €500,000.
  • Amounts >€500,000 may be secured; however, a personal guarantee may only be sought in circumstances where it is required to capture supporting security, or where it is an uncollateralised personal guarantee and is limited to a maximum of 20% of the initial finance agreement amount.
  • Optional interest-only repayments or interest and / or capital moratoria (up to 90 days) are possible under the Scheme. These remain at the discretion of the participating on-lender. Otherwise, loans must have an amortising repayment schedule and not a bullet repayment profile.
  • Loans are available up to 31st December 2022.

Loan Purpose:

The Covid-19 Loan Scheme is designed to address the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Loans can be used for:

  • working capital and investment loans to support SMEs, including farmers and fishers, negatively impacted by Covid-19;
  • refinancing of an existing loan that was provided to support businesses impacted by Covid-19, up to 30% of the new loan amount.

Eligibility Criteria:

The business turnover or profit must be negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic by at least 15%.For the full list of Eligibility criteria, please check the SBCI website

How to apply:

Step 1 – Applicants must first submit an Eligibility Application Form to the SBCI to check if they are eligible for the Covid-19 Loan Scheme. If the SBCI determines that an applicant is eligible, they will be notified in writing from the SBCI and will be supplied with an eligibility reference number (eligibility code).

Step 2 – Applicants must provide this eligibility confirmation letter/code to St. Canice’s Credit Union to start the credit application.

Please note that the SBCI eligibility letter/code is not a guarantee of loan approval and does not oblige St. Canice’s Credit Union to provide a loan.

Approval of loans is subject to St. Canice’s Credit Union’s own credit criteria, policies and procedures.

The Covid-19 Loan Scheme operates until 31st  December 2022 or until it has been fully subscribed.

Who can apply?

Viable micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that meet the eligibility criteria.

SMEs are defined by the standard EU definition contained in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC as enterprises that:

  • have fewer than 250 employees
  • have a turnover of €50 million or less (or €43 million or less on their balance sheet)
  • are independent and autonomous, i.e. not part of a wider group of enterprises
  • have less than 25% of their capital held by public bodies
  • is established and operating in the Republic of Ireland

Who cannot apply?

An SME that:

  • does not satisfy the eligibility criteria.
  • is bankrupt or being wound up or having its affairs administered by courts.
  • is subject to or fulfil the criteria under domestic law for being placed in, collective insolvency proceedings.
  • in the last five years has entered into an arrangement in the context of being bankrupt or wound up or having its affairs administered by courts.
  • has been convicted of an offence concerning professional misconduct by judgement, fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering or any other illegal activity where such illegal activity is detrimental to the European Union’s financial interests.

Scheme Costs:

The interest rate applicable to the loan is 5%. (APR 5.11%)
A loan of €25,000 over 5 years (60 months),will have 60 monthly repayments of €471.80 per month. Total Cost of credit would be €3,302.14 and the Total Amount to be repaid would be €28,302.14.

Excluded Activities:

Loans will not be provided to SMEs that have a substantial focus in any of the following sectors:

  • tobacco, if it forms a substantial part of the applicant’s primary financed business activities or a substantial part of the proposed financing.
  • gambling, casinos and equivalent enterprises or hotels hosting such facilities.
  • ammunition and weapons, military/police equipment, infrastructure or correctional facilities, prisons.
  • production or trade in pharmaceuticals, pesticides/herbicides, chemicals, ozone depleting substances and other hazardous substances subject to international phase-outs or bans.
  • production or use of or trade in hazardous materials such as radioactive materials (except for medical isotopes and materials for diagnostics and treatment in healthcare provision), unbounded asbestos fibres and products containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); or
  • destruction of critical habitats.
  • financing of pure real estate development activity.
  • financing of land/property purchase, including agricultural land.
  • financing of activities constituting pure financial transactions (e.g. purchase of shares).

For the full list of Excluded Activities, please check the SBCI website

Credit Decisions & Appeals

St. Canice’s Credit Union will make a credit decision to approve or decline your SBCI Covid-19 Loan Scheme credit application based on our agreed local credit policies and scheme conditions. If declined, you have the option of:

  • using the St. Canice’s Credit Union internal appeals mechanism;