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

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Loans and Small Businesses: The Saga Continues

By Ian Ashworth - Business Development Manager, Business Finance Solutions

"Banks frequently tell us that lending has been unaffected by the credit crunch and is as buoyant as ever. For the lucky few that might be the case, but sadly that isn’t borne out by what many small businesses are telling us. They are finding it almost impossible to access start-up funding, unless they have a minimum 50% stake. For existing businesses it has not been easy either, with many complaining of increased pricing and fees, even where they have been able to convince the bank to support them.

As a not-for-profit, government-backed initiative, Business Finance Solutions (BFS) provides finance for existing and start-up businesses (with a viable business plan), which have been refused funding by the high street banks.

Unlike most of the banks, we do not use credit scoring, preferring to assess each application solely on its business merits, the chances of success, growth potential and any jobs likely to be created, so nobody is automatically ruled out.

We operate in the boroughs of Manchester, Stockport, Salford, Tameside, Trafford, and across all of Cheshire. Surprisingly, despite the credit crunch and recession there are still businesses who have never heard of us. We continue to spend time trying to improve on our existing positive links with the banks to ensure that where they can’t help, they do at least mention our name as a potential route for customers to access the finance they need.

One of our successful applicants is Martin Rooney of Focused Nutrition Ltd in Stockport (recently featured in The Sunday Times). He needed a £50,000 loan for his business, which manufactures a range of Nutrition Products to help promote a Healthy Lifestyle, and after months of searching, he eventually found the money he needed through BFS.

Throughout January and February this year, BFS has continued to show strong growth in investments and has made advances of over £200,000 in loan funds so far. We are proud to have exceeded the £4,500,000 mark in advanced loans and have recently passed the 1,350 mark for jobs created and protected in the region.
BFS is a provider of Enterprise Finance Guarantee and a fully accredited Small Firms Loan Guarantee lender.

Anyone who is interested in finding out more about BFS and the services and products we offer, should contact us on 0161 245 4977 or e-mail"

For more information about Business Finance Solutions, visit:


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