The Government has announced an increase in the limit for loan applications that can be appealed to the Credit Review Office from €500,000 to €3 million.
This will facilitate requests from a broader range of SMEs.
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said that the banking sector has a very important role to play in supplying credit at competitive rates to support economic growth.
He also told the Dáil that credit unions also have a key role to play in providing access to credit and other important services in local communities nationwide.
The minister said that the Government must continue to ensure that businesses, particularly SMEs, have access to credit from a wide range of sources.
Sources of alternative funding continue to rise and include the National Pensions Reserve Fund, the European Investment Bank and private providers such as Silicon Valley Bank.
To improve the framework of credit supports available to SMEs, the minister said he will hold subsidised financial training programmes for small businesses, which will be carried out in conjunction with the Skillnet Management Works Programme.
On mortgage arrears, Mr Noonan said that within the next 12 months, he expects that the vast majority of bank customers who are currently in arrears on their mortgages will have been offered and accepted a sustainable solution.
"Homeowners in mortgage arrears must be given the opportunity to address their problems, to move on with their lives and to fully re-engage with the real economy.
"This is important not just for the homeowners involved but for the entire economy,'' the minister stated.