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

Monday, 21 February 2011

Financial Solutions for Businesses

By Louise Ryder –Client Support Officer, Business Finance Solutions

“Many small businesses are still struggling as a result of the recent recession and SMEs are continuing to find it hard to secure finance from mainstream lenders.

Business Finance Solutions (BFS) is a not-for-profit organisation, funded through European Regional Development Funds (ERDF). We provide alternative finance for start-up and existing businesses in Manchester, Trafford, Tameside, Stockport, Salford and Cheshire.

Unlike a lot of mainstream funders, we do not use a credit scoring system when reviewing applications. We ask that applicants provide us with a full, comprehensive business plan in order to come to a decision based on business growth, viability, and the overall risk. As the business plan is the main tool that we use when assessing the applications, if any applicants require assistance with completing a plan we recommend that they contact the Business Link Access to Finance Team, who are familiar with our application processes and can assist them with this.

As well as having loan funds of between £3,000 and £50,000 available to start-up and existing businesses in the region, BFS also has additional ERDF funds that are available to businesses looking to invest specifically in carbon reducing or innovative products. These can be used to either fund new carbon reducing processes within the business, or for businesses producing carbon reduction products or services.

A recent loan application from a start-up business based in Macclesfield, which supplies healthcare products to care homes, was successful in securing a loan of £50,000 to fund stock, website and marketing costs. As the development of the website was an innovation within this new business, the applicant was eligible for the ERDF loans allocated for innovation and technology. Thanks to the loan from BFS, this company is now trading and looking forward to future opportunities for growth and expansion and job creation.

BFS has granted over £5million in loan funds and has created or protected over 1500 jobs in the region. We are 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 they offer, should call 0161 245 4977 or e-mail

For more information about Business Finance Solutions, visit:

Anyone who wishes to speak to a Business Link advisor regarding access to finance or seeking help in completing a business plan, can call 0845 006 6888.

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