Cara Credit Union Approved As Lender Under Govt COVID Credit Guarantee Scheme

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Pa Laide CEO, Cara Credit Union and Sarah O’Regan Head of Credit, Cara Credit Union .

CARA Credit Union, a member of Metamo, the joint venture between 16 Credit Unions and Fexco, has been approved as a lender under the Government’s COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme (CCGS).

Cara Credit Union will now be able to provide Government backed loans directly to local SMEs, whose survival is critical to the economic wellbeing of the Tralee, Castleisland and Killorglin area.

Loans ranging between €10,000 and €1m, for terms of between 3 months and 5.5 years, will be available to local businesses under the scheme.

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Cara Credit Union is included in the first wave of Metamo’s Group of Credit Unions to be ratified under the scheme, which is designed to support SMEs and Agri businesses who are facing challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A key differentiator in the offering of the seven Metamo Credit Unions will be that lending decisions will be made in the community by credit union staff with a deep knowledge of the businesses applying for loans.

Business sectors in the Tralee, Castleisland and Killorglin area which are in particular need of support include retail, hospitality and agriculture

Pa Laide, CEO of Cara Credit Union, said: “Our inclusion under the Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme means we are ideally placed to support our local businesses who have been adversely affected by Covid-19. We have a strong track record of working with the community to address the real needs our members face. Our approach to the CCGS will be no different, and we look forward to serving the needs of local businesses as they look to recover from a challenging period.”

Joe O’Toole, Chair of the Metamo Credit Union Group, said: “We are delighted that the Government has approved seven Metamo Credit Union lenders under the Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme. The credit unions gaining approval have the track record and local relationships to engage effectively with businesses needing support. Today’s announcement marks the first-time credit unions have been approved to operate with a Government guarantee – a space previously reserved for the large pillar banks. Our Credit Unions are keen to support local businesses, knowing that their continued success is in the interests of our members and our communities.”

The approval indicates the success of Cara Credit Union’s involvement in the Metamo model in helping its Credit Unions access unique opportunities and to benefit from the scale of working together.

Metamo was launched in July 2019 so Credit Unions could collaborate together, access centralised expertise, become more efficient and have improved negotiation strength. Metamo are enabling the sector to broaden their range of services, improve their core offering and access superior terms for the benefit of members.

The seven Metamo credit unions approved under the scheme have a combined membership of approximately 250,000 members, and are: Cara Credit Union, Mallow Credit Union, First Choice Credit Union, People First Credit Union, St Canice’s Credit Union, Limerick & District Credit Union, and Synergy Credit Union.

Local businesses will be able to apply for lending through the CCGS now. Information is available at

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