ART welcomes the announcement today by Business Secretary Vince Cable that businesses in Birmingham and Solihull are to be among the first to benefit from a new £60 million funding pot to support growth and jobs across the UK. ART is to receive £4.8m over the next three years to be lent in Birmingham and Solihull.
£30 million of cash from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is being matched by £30 million from Unity Trust Bank and The Co-operative Bank and being distributed by the Community Development Finance Association (CDFA) amongst its members, including ART.
ART will have £1.6m to lend in Birmingham and Solihull in the coming year. Steve Walker, Chief Executive of ART comments: “We are delighted that the Government is recognising the important role Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs), like ART, are playing in supporting small and micro businesses who can’t meet their needs directly from a bank. The RGF money has enabled the CDFA to leverage even more money to lend from the Unity Trust and Co-operative Banks, which are also keen to support the CDFI sector. CDFA research shows that there is an enormous gap in the market to be filled in terms of small business lending – and ART, like other CDFIs, is designed to meet that gap, lending where the banks can’t.”
The new funding announcement was made during a visit by the Business Secretary to ART borrower Utensa. He was keen to see the kind of small business that the money will support. Utensa is a bakeware manufacturer based in Tyseley, Birmingham, which has used an ART loan to invest in new tooling and support the introduction of a new product range. Two new jobs have been created in the process.
Robert Jones, Managing Director of Utensa says: “Without support from ART we would not be where we are today. The loan has made a significant difference to our ability to remain competitive and helped to put the company on a firm footing for the future.”
Small businesses interested in applying for a loan should contact ART on 0121 359 2444.October 4, 2012 9:59 am