The European Commission said on Wednesday it had approved an Irish temporary scheme to help businesses deal with the current economic crisis.
Under the scheme, Irish authorities may grant aid of up to 500,000 euros (659,000 U.S. dollars) per firm in 2009 and 2010 who are facing funding problems because of the current credit crunch.
The aid will be granted in the form of direct grants, reimbursable grants, interest rate subsidies, and subsidized public loans.
In particular, the scheme applies only to firms which were not in difficulty before July 1, 2008, the time when the financial crisis unfolded.
The scheme is intended to give timely and well targeted aid to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large companies and will therefore significantly contribute to remedying the current financial and economic crisis, the commission said.
"The Irish scheme will help businesses affected by the current credit crunch without unduly distorting competition," the European Union (EU) Competition Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, said.