Short-term SME loans in Ireland fell by 77% during recession

8th July 2014

Short-term business loans to small firms across Ireland declined by more than three-quarters (77 per cent) during the economic downturn (2007-2011), according to a new report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
 
Within the OECD’s latest financing small business report it said business loans in Ireland dropped from €56 billion in 2007 to €38 billion in 2012.
 
Short-term loans made up around 90 per cent of the total new SME lending over that period; however the report shows these loan volumes plummeted by 77 per cent between 2007 and 2011 from €19.4 billion to just €4.4 billion.
 
The OECD’s analysis of 31 countries during this period found that monetary easing did not necessarily result in an increase in credit to SMEs.
 
They highlighted numerous efforts in Ireland to boost financing, such as the micro-enterprise Loan Fund Scheme, the Seed and Venture Capital Scheme, the Development Capital Scheme and Innovation Fund Ireland.
 
Meanwhile, an additional survey from the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) found that satisfaction with the performance of the Irish Government had declined among SME owners.
 
The ISME’s report found that small firms were most annoyed about the government’s perceived inability to deal with rocketing business costs.
 
Mark Fielding, chief of the ISME, believes the government’s two main priorities should be to restore competitiveness and access to credit for ambitious small businesses.
 
“These current figures are not a surprise as the SME sector has lost patience with an administration which has lost focus, distracted by their own internal political machinations,” said Mr Fielding.

“The sooner the reshuffle, the sooner we can have a government refocused on the economy and the continuing battle for recovery and growth.”

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