The Irish P2P lender says the new loan will have no payments for the first three months and calls on Government to work with P2P and alternative lenders as a a channel for support to SMEs.
Linked Finance, Ireland’s largest peer-to-peer lending platform, has launched a new “Deferred Start Loan” for businesses affected by the coronavirus.
The 15-month loan allows businesses to borrow up to €100,000, with repayments due in 12 monthly instalments after the first 3 months, during which no interest or capital repayment will be paid.
The loan is aimed at businesses who need working capital at a time of reduced cash flow or to make capital investments to adjust to the economic paradigm created by the coronavirus.
Linked Finance says following the launch of the loan on Tuesday it has attracted “strong levels of interest” from businesses.
The firm has also applied a blanket two-month payment break to all its loans across the restaurant, bar, pub and hotel trades. Linked Finance also announced repayment flexibility on existing loans for businesses in other sectors, and is willing to consider a break in the repayment schedule of up to 3 months.
Linked Finance is calling on the Government to work with the P2P lending sector and other alternative finance providers to use it as a channel for support to SMEs in addition to mechanisms being deployed through the traditional banking sector.
Niall Dorrian, Chief Executive of Linked Finance said: “This is an extremely difficult time for many Irish SMEs, but we want to send a message that there are sources of financial support available that can be accessed quickly and easily. The new Deferred Start Loan we have launched allows companies access to much needed capital, whilst being able to delay repayment of interest and principal for the first three months.”
“This is part of a package of measures Linked Finance has introduced to support businesses in every country of Ireland who are facing unprecedented challenges due to coronavirus. We hope the Government will consider our sector as a key channel that can be used to quickly deploy support to help SMEs that are the lifeblood of employment throughout the country.”
Since its launch in 2013 Linked Finance has provided loans totalling over €130m, for more than 2,500 businesses.