The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Accessing lending - a good news story from one of our members

A good news story for Friday - this is an article that will be appearing in the May edition of 53 Degrees (just about to go to print) about one of our members, S4 ICT who are going from strength to strength. It illustrates some of the problems businesses are facing in accessing lending but also a couple of really good schemes out there.

As always we want to hear your own experiences. Get in touch

Enjoy your weekend!


Leigh-based S4 ICT have been selected as a business with ‘high growth potential’ by an NWDA scheme designed to help 1,000 businesses in the region with the scope to grow themselves and the local economy. The business, a provider of IT and Communications solutions and services, has been bucking the trend of the downturn with significant new business lined up, however required investment to further expand.

Their first port of call was their bank; having devised a business plan, they hoped to secure funding made available to banks by the Government’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme announced last year. Despite the recent performance of the business, the bank declined.

Phil Donoghue of S4 ICT, said: “After the bank said no, I decided to do a bit of research and came across an organisation called Bolton Business Ventures who provide help to businesses across the North West. They helped me to revise my business plan and assisted me with the application process.”

After working again on the proposal, Phil sat down in front of a panel of representatives from the NWDA, Bolton Business Ventures and BusinessLink. The panel asked Phil about the plan, the skills and capabilities of the company and contacted him the following day to tell him they were happy to lend him the money. Ten days later, the cash was available to the business.

However, there was more good news to come for S4 ICT when June Poree, the NWDA representative on the panel, contacted Phil to say how impressed they had been with his proposals and that they had identified S4 ICT as a business with potential for high growth, suitable for the NWDA scheme. The scheme entitles the business to five days of consultancy with a professional business mentor, access to workshops designed to maximise the potential of high growth and networking opportunities among other businesses selected for the scheme.
Phil says: “We have been really happy with the growth of the business and especially the number of new customers we gain through recommendation from existing clients. I needed additional capital to continue growing the business at the rate we had. After the bank declined Bolton Business ventures were a massive help to us. Then to also be awarded a place on the NWDA potential high growth scheme was incredible, and will provide us with additional resource and expertise to help structure the business for long term growth.”


The Chamber works in close partnership with Business Finance Solutions to provide businesses with alternative finance, advice and planning. Please visit the website if you're looking for advice in this area or call Paul Breen on 0161 245 4977.

Business Finance Solutions
Bolton Business Ventures
NWDA - £10m High Growth Programme for the Northwest launched

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