Fine Gael TD for Clare and Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen, has said today (Friday) that Microfinance Ireland (MFI) offering small businesses in Clare the opportunity to avail of a cut in its interest rates is great news. MFI is the not-for-profit Government Agency providing funded finance to micro-enterprises.
“Access to finance has been a big issue for small businesses in Clare and around Ireland in recent years. Microfinance Ireland is an effective response to this. Micro-enterprises can apply for loans of between €2,000 and €25,000 directly to MFI, or through their Local Enterprise Office. From the 1st of July, applicants to MFI can now avail of a standard rate of 7.8% APR, down from 8.8%.
“Since it was launched three and a half years ago, MFI has approved almost €14 million for small business, supporting thousands of jobs. MFI is proving very successful because it lends to business when the banks won’t.
“Another positive development for small businesses is the launch of a mentoring support program for MFI loan applicants, which will be provided through the Local Enterprise Office network.
“This Government is committed to continuing to support small businesses, who are the lifeblood of our local communities here in Clare and across Ireland.
“This morning in Ennis I launched the FBD Clare Business Excellence Awards 2016, hosted by Ennis Chamber. The FBD Clare Business Excellence Awards have been the highlight of the business calendar here in County Clare, since their inception in 2010. In the six years of the awards, over 600 businesses have entered, with 180 finalists and nearly 60 winners.
“In my new role as Minister of State for Employment and Small Business, I will be keenly listening to the concerns and ideas of the small business community, as small businesses are absolutely critical to our economic growth and to job creation.”