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Thursday, 28 January 2010

A Financial Solution for Struggling Small Businesses


Paul Breen - Fund Operations Manager, Business Finance Solutions

“For many small businesses, the past couple of years have been tough. Not only have they had to contend with a reduction in footfall and most recently the adverse weather conditions, but there has also been the added worry of securing finance for the future.

Business Finance Solutions is a not-for-profit, Government-backed organisation that can help provide existing and start-up businesses with an alternative way of securing finance.

Our ‘Small Loans for Business’ initiative has been created to help businesses who have been refused loans, in part or whole, from mainstream sources, such as high street banks. With funding provided by the Government, Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and private sector partners, the scheme can provide businesses with loans from £3,000 to £50,000 to help entrepreneurs establish and grow their companies, resulting in job creation and contributing to the success of the region’s economy.

One of our success stories is Babydeli Ltd, based in Irlam. They were granted one of the ‘Small Loans for Business’ after needing further working capital to drive the business forward. Established in 2005, the homemade, organic baby food company was initially assisted by the banks by way of a commercial loan and overdraft facilities. This financial support sufficed to grow the brand in the marketplace through both internet and wholesale sales. However, in 2009, further capital was required to maintain growth and as the banks had initially provided both the overdraft and commercial mortgage facilities, they couldn’t assist further and Business Finance Solutions stepped in.

The benefits for small businesses that choose to apply for this loan scheme are significant. If their initial application is successful, the loan repayments can be tailored to suit the individual needs of the company. There will be ongoing access to other support services for successful small businesses as well. Applications are judged on the viability of the business plan, the likelihood of success and the potential to create or protect jobs.

What we intend to do with this scheme, is make it easier for people to start or develop their enterprises. In time, this will result in job creation, which in turn will have a direct effect on the North West’s economy.

At the moment, Business Finance Solutions are supporting hundreds of business owners and entrepreneurs, generating millions of pounds in investment in the region.”

For more information about Business Finance Solutions and the ‘Small Loans for Business’, visit: www.business-finance-solutions.org.uk

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