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ART Business Loans lending team


“We’re aiming to raise £3m over three years to lend to businesses in Birmingham.”

With localism high on the political agenda, ART Business Loans has joined forces with Birmingham City Council and peer to peer business lender ThinCats to create an investment opportunity that will allow local individuals and other businesses to support small to medium sized enterprises in Birmingham that don’t currently meet the banks’ lending criteria.

During a two week period – from Thursday 26th January to Thursday 8th February – individuals and organisations can take the opportunity to invest by way of a five year loan to ART Business Loans through the ThinCats platform.  ART will then on-lend to businesses in Birmingham.  Investors will receive Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR), which is the equivalent of 5% per annum off their annual UK Income Tax or UK Corporation Tax bill.

CITR equates to a 6.25% return for standard rate Income Tax payers, 8.3% for those paying 40% tax and 9.1% for higher rate tax payers.  The Tax relief also applies to businesses which get Corporation Tax relief, providing an income equivalent to 5.8%.  To achieve maximum tax relief, the money must be left invested for five years.

Birmingham City Council is adding to the total pot that will be available for ART to lend to businesses in Birmingham and is keen to encourage local people to put their money to work to support the local economy.

Councillor John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council says: “This is a pioneering local investment opportunity and a chance for people to not only get a financial incentive in the form of a tax relief, but also a social return.  Small and medium sized enterprises are the life blood of the local economy and their ability to grow, create and preserve jobs impacts on everyone who lives and works in Birmingham.”

Dr Steve Walker, Chief Executive of ART says: “There are many reasons why a viable business may not fit the banks’ lending criteria, including because the bank has already lent all it can.  We’re here to ensure that businesses can access the loan finance they need to support cashflow, invest in new premises and equipment, survive and thrive.”

Kevin Caley, Founder and Chairman of ThinCats says: “Peer to peer finance solves two problems at once; it provides businesses with the funding they need to grow at a time when banks are reluctant to help and it also provides investors with a way to earn returns on their capital well above the rate of inflation. This unique partnership between ART Business Loans, Birmingham City Council and ThinCats highlights the way that investors from Birmingham can invest in the economy of their own City.”

This fundraising initiative is part of ART’s continued planned expansion to meet demand from West Midlands businesses, following three record years of loan delivery.

Find out more about the kinds of businesses ART supports.

Read about ART’s early fundraising and support from Birmingham’s Lunar Society.  (Scroll to end of newsletter – Closing Comments)

Who Wants to Invest in Their Own Back Yard?  Read article by Dr Steve Walker in BQ Magazine.

To take advantage of this opportunity to lend to ART and invest in the Birmingham economy you need to become a member of ThinCats.  It’s just a matter of registering online, which is free. Click here to go to the ThinCats website.

Read our Information Pack for more details about the opportunity.

"It’s really encouraging to see BCC partnering up in pioneering incentives such as this. Around two thirds of our members in the region work in businesses that would fall into the SME bracket and we still hear too often that access to finance is a barrier to growth. Business supporting business is a concept that works well in Birmingham, especially with a favourable return on the investment." Calum Nisbet, Regional Director, IoD West Midlands Region “Birmingham is the entrepreneurship capital of the UK and many fledging businesses soon become small enterprises. It is vital that they continue to flourish in this region, so this co-operation between ART and Birmingham City Council is welcome and valuable. With the added bonus of investors being able to claim Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR) this is clearly a win-win initiative.” Paul Faulkner, Chief Executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

January 26, 2017 7:30 am

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