July 16, 2010 - Anonymous

South West firms offered bank loan alternative

Small businesses in the South West that have struggled to obtain bank lending can now apply for loans of up to £5,000, following the launch of a £2 million government-backed loan fund.

The South West Micro Loan fund will deliver loans of up to £5,000 to viable small firms and start-ups based in Bristol, Plymouth and Torbay, to encourage business growth. The initiative is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the South West Regional Development Agency, and managed by South West Investment Group (SWIG).

The fund has been launched as part of a government programme to encourage enterprise within the region’s disadvantaged areas. Businesses that have plans to grow and create jobs will be prioritised, although one-man bands will not be excluded.

“The fund will provide a much needed source of finance to would-be entrepreneurs and existing businesses that can’t raise all the finance they need from banks,” said SWIG fund manager, Chris Burt.

Eligible businesses must have a maximum of 250 employees and be based in one of the three specified areas. They must also be unable to receive the full amount of lending they have requested from their bank.

The terms of the loan state that the money must be paid back within three years, at an interest rate of 12 per cent.

Applicants must first complete an eligibility form, with their name, location and type of business or business idea. If they are approved, businesses must then complete a full application form.

  • For more information about the loan fund and to request an eligibility form, telephone SWIG on 01872 223 883 or Business Link on 0845 600 9966