ART is off to a flying start in lending money made available via the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to support cash-starved businesses in Birmingham and Solihull unable to access the finance they need from a bank. It has lent over £200,000 in the first month and has more offers in the pipeline.
The Regional Growth Funding is provided to ART through its trade association, the Community Development Finance Association (CDFA), and is matched by funding from the Unity Trust and Co-operative banks. It means ART has £1.6m to lend under the scheme this year with the potential of £4.8m in total over the next three years, subject to funding availability and providing it meets its targets for lending to small businesses to enable them to create or safeguard jobs in Birmingham or Solihull.
Loans of up to £100,000 are available from ART for any business purpose, including to support cashflow. Steve Walker, Chief Executive of ART explains: “We exist to boost the local economy and fill the gap left in the small business loan market left by the banks. With this funding we have been able to double the maximum size of the loans we offer in line with demand. Increasingly we are being asked to provide loans as part of a package of finance, which includes bank support, where a bank has already lent, but is unable to lend any more.”
The Government says it is committed to helping businesses, which the banks can’t reach, to access the finance they need. It sees Community Development Finance Institutions like ART as crucial in helping to achieve that objective, as Dr Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills, explained when he announced the funding at the CDFA Conference in Solihull in October. To listen to what he had to say click here.
For further information about small business loans from ART click here. To apply for a loan call 0121 359 2444.November 27, 2012 12:16 pm