Low-cost finance to fund working capital and investments for businesses, including primary producers, impacted by the economic consequences of the conflict in Ukraine.
The Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme (UCGS) is offered by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) to provide viable SMEs including primary producers, impacted by economic challenges arising from the conflict in Ukraine with access to low-cost finance.
The scheme supports economic activity in Ireland, facilitating the provision of working capital and medium-term investment finance to businesses adversely impacted by the conflict in Ukraine who are facing supply chain disruptions and increased input (including energy) costs.
Borrowers will contribute to the cost of the scheme by paying a risk premium on the credit advanced. This premium will be incorporated into the margin on the loan, collected by the on-lender and paid to Government of Ireland.
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- Loans from €10,000 to a maximum of €1,000,000 per borrower (subject to Loan Amount Criteria, see below for further details)
- Repayment terms of between 3 months up to 6 years
- Eligible financial products include (but are not limited to) term loan facilities, working capital, asset finance and overdrafts
- Loan amounts less than €250,000 will be unsecured (unless it is a requirement of the product feature e.g., asset finance, invoice discount facilities)
- Amounts greater than €250,000 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
- Up to 90 days interest and/or capital moratoria are possible under the scheme. These remain at the discretion of the participating on-lender.
- Loans will be available up to the 31 December 2024 or until the scheme has been fully subscribed.
Step 1 – Applicants must first register on the SBCI Hub and submit an online Eligibility Application Form to check if they can access the scheme. Once the online form is completed, successful applicants will be issued with an eligibility code.
Step 2 – The applicant must provide this eligibility code to Cara Credit Union to begin their credit application process.
Please note that the SBCI eligibility code is not a guarantee of credit approval and does not oblige the on-lender to provide finance.
Approval of finance is subject to Cara Credit Union credit criteria, policies and procedures.
The Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme will operate until 31 December 2024 or until the scheme has been fully subscribed.
Viable SMEs including primary producers, that meet the eligibility criteria.
SMEs are defined by the Standard EU definition [Commission Regulation 2003/361/EC] as enterprises that:
- Have fewer than 250 employees
- Have an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million
- In addition, in order to be eligible for the scheme, businesses must be both established and operating in the Republic of Ireland
Borrowers must self-declare that:
- Their costs have increased by a minimum of 10% on their 2020 cost figures due to the impact of the conflict in Ukraine
- Finance is being sought specifically as a result of difficulties being experienced due to the conflict in Ukraine and meet the specific criteria as set out in the Loan Purposes section
- Finance is being sought for a new loan. Refinancing of existing loans is not permitted
Finance must be used for one or both of the following purposes:
- Working capital (including liquidity needs)
As part of the SBCI application process, borrowers must sign a declaration (which may be subject to audit) that they meet the eligibility criteria and the applicable state aid rules.
The amount of credit that can be obtained by borrowers under the scheme (whether under one or more finance agreements) is subject to the scheme rules and the Temporary Crisis Framework.
The maximum amount of credit per borrower under the scheme cannot exceed €1 million, and will in most circumstances be determined by one of the following two criteria:
- 15% of the borrower’s average total annual turnover over the last three accounting periods; OR
- 50% of the borrower’s energy costs over the 12 months preceding the month when the application for credit is submitted.
In limited cases applicants may be able to borrow to fund their anticipated liquidity needs for 12 months.
Finance providers may require borrowers to provide them with certain evidence before deciding whether, and under what conditions, they might grant them a loan. These requirements vary but are likely to include Management/Audited accounts/Business Plan.
The interest rate applicable to the loan will be determined by Cara Credit Union.
In addition, Cara Credit Union will collect a premium which is payable to the Government of Ireland. The risk premium rate that will apply will depend on the size of the business and the length of time for which the credit is being advanced, as per the tables below:
|Terms of Loan
- Finance of pure real estate development activity
- Finance of activities constituting pure financial transactions (e.g., purchase of shares)
- Loans to undertakings in difficulty
- Finance of activities forbidden by national or EU law
- Finance of the acquisition of road freight transport vehicles by undertakings performing road freight transport for hire or reward;
- Finance of export-specific activities, namely funding directly linked to the quantities exported, to the establishment and operation of a distribution network or to other current expenditure linked to the export activity, or finance contingent upon the use of domestic over imported products. In particular, it should not apply to financing the establishment and operation of a distribution network in other States, or current expenditure linked to the export activity; and
- Purchase of agri land.
NACE is the standard system used in the European Union for classifying business activity.
See the NACE codes eligible under this scheme here.
Cara Credit Union is ultimately responsible for the credit decision. If declined, the applicant has the option of:
All appeals will be considered on a case-by-case basis and be handled in accordance with the requirements of SME Regulations as follows:
- All appeals will be considered and adjudicated upon within 15 business days of receiving the appeal.
- Appeals will be reviewed by an independent and appropriate discretion holder including review of all information provided by the borrower.
- The review undertaken shall be independent of the original decision makers.
- If your appeal to us is unsuccessful, you can then refer your case to the independent Credit Review Office when your borrowing is between €1,000 and €3,000,000.
The Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme currently operates under the EU “Temporary Crisis Framework” (TCF) for State aid measures to support the economy following the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine.
WARNING: IF YOU DO NOT MEET THE REPAYMENTS ON YOUR CREDIT FACILITY AGREEMENT, YOUR ACCOUNT WILL GO INTO ARREARS, THIS MAY AFFECT YOUR CREDIT RATING WHICH MAY LIMIT YOUR ABILITY TO ACCESS CREDIT IN THE FUTURE.
WARNING: THE COST OF YOUR REPAYMENTS MAY INCREASE.
Level of security required and rate applicable, will be determined by the amount, purpose & term of facility, in conjunction with the nature and value of the security being offered.
Lending criteria, and terms and conditions apply.