Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme

Low-cost finance to fund working capital and investments for businesses, including primary producers, impacted by the economic consequences of the conflict in Ukraine.

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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.

Scheme Features

  • 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
  • All loan amounts will be unsecured (unless it is a requirement of the product feature e.g., asset finance, invoice discount facilities)
  • Up to 90 days interest and/or capital moratoria are possible under the scheme. These remain at the discretion of Connect Credit Union.
  • Loans will be available up to the 31 December 2024 or until the scheme has been fully subscribed.


Interest Rate


How to apply

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 Connect 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 Connect Credit Union’s credit criteria, policies and procedures.

The Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme will operate until 31 December 2024 or until the scheme has been fully subscribed.


Who can apply

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

Eligibility Criteria

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.
Loan Purposes

Finance must be used for one or both of the following purposes:

  • Working capital (including liquidity needs)
  • Investment

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.

Loan amount criteria

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 €200,000, 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.

Connect Credit Union will require borrowers to provide certain evidence before deciding whether, and under what conditions, we might grant a loan. Required documents include management/audited accounts, tax returns, business plan, bank statements and tax clearance certificates.

What are the Scheme costs

The interest rate applicable to the loan will be determined by Connect Credit Union.

In addition, Connect 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 table below:


Terms of Loan(Years)


1-3 years


4-6 years


Excluded Activities
  • 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.
Eligible NACE codes

NACE is the standard system used in the European Union for classifying business activity.

See the NACE codes eligible under this scheme here.

Credit decisions

Connect Credit Union is ultimately responsible for the credit decision. If declined, the applicant has the option of:

  • Appealing the decision to the credit committee and to the Board of Directors of Connect Credit Union
State Aid

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.