The counties of Cork, Galway, Kerry and Waterford are the most supportive of businesses in their own county, according to research by peer-to-peer lending platform Linked Finance.

The Linked Finance research revealed that lenders in Cork came out top of the table, with the trend of lending locally also high in Galway, Kerry and Waterford. 

The lowest level of local support was found in counties Leitrim, Longford and Roscommon.

But Linked Finance said this may be partly due to the smaller choice of loans available in these counties.

Unsurprisingly the large population centres of Dublin and Cork top the list for peer-to-peer lending.

However counties Kilkenny, Kerry and Monaghan all showed a level of interest disproportionately large relative to population size. 

The counties with the lowest level of registered users were Louth, Offaly and Limerick.

Linked Finance has now provided over 1,200 loans for Irish SMEs since its launch in 2013. 

Companies that have been supported by its loans include Viking Splash Tours, Lolly & Cooks, Murphy’s Ice Cream, Iconic Offices and the Irish Fairy Door Company.

Linked Finance noted that businesses in Cork have raised €3.2m through its platform, including Curious Wines, West Cork Pies and ILEN Seafoods.

"Wherever our users choose to lend their money they can do so in the knowledge the will earn a good return while supporting the growth ambitions of entrepreneurial Irish businesses," commented Linked Finance's chief executive Niall Dorrian.

He said there are borrowers and lenders on Linked Finance from every corner of Ireland and 2017 has been a record year of growth for the business, with new lending up nearly 200% in the first nine months of the year.