AIB Group, an Irish banking and financial services organization, has launched a new scheme called 'AIB Small Business Recovery Scheme’, to help small businesses recover from the current economic conditions.

Available from June 1, 2010, across all of AIB’s 270 branches, the aim of the scheme, is to support viable small businesses through the current economic conditions.

The scheme, with a fund of EUR500m, plans to achieve this by restructuring existing AIB borrowings and provide additional working capital to meet their business needs.

The initiative is part of AIB’s recapitalization commitment to the government for an additional EUR3bn in new or additional SME lending in each of 2010 and 2011.

Denis O’Callaghan, general manager of retail banking for Ireland at AIB, said: “We are acutely aware that the significant deterioration in the business environment continues to create severe cash flow difficulties for many of our business customers. Micro and small businesses in particular are significantly impacted by the difficult trading conditions, falling sales and slower payment cycles.

“We know we have a role to play in supporting our customers and in the general economic recovery. This scheme provides us with a mechanism to provide much needed breathing space that small businesses need to ease cash flow and improve their prospects for recovery.”