A loan fund created exclusively to help Stoke on Trent businesses unable to obtain finance from banks has been officially launched by Stoke on Trent City Council in conjunction with the Black Country Reinvestment Society (BCRS).
Initially, £200,000 is available for lending to companies who are having problems getting the funding they need from traditional sources.
The fund will be managed by BCRS and loans of between £10,000 and £50,000 will be made available, but only to viable Stoke on Trent businesses already turned away by main stream lenders.
Paul Kalinauckas, Chief Executive of BCRS, said:
"This fund will certainly help Stoke on Trent develop, grow and prosper. Small businesses are under the radar when it comes to access to finance, which is holding back their growth prospects.
“It is an exciting time to find new and innovative ways of non-bank lending and we are looking forward to providing local people with job opportunities and creating wealth in the Stoke on Trent area.
BCRS was founded as the Black Country Reinvestment Society in 2002 to provide finance to local businesses turned down by banks. The not for profit lender has just celebrated its 10th anniversary having made over £10 million of loans.
“There is a lot we can do to help businesses out there and we are looking to connect with them as their local business loan fund. The BCRS model is of an approachable lender and we assess each individual case on its own merits. We operate very much with a traditional lending ethos rather than impersonal computerised credit scoring and recently achieved 100% in our customer satisfaction survey.”
Councillor Mark Meredith, City of Stoke on Trent’s Cabinet Member for economic development, said that it was a key mission for the public sector to create and safeguard new jobs.
He said: “We are delighted to be able to support such a scheme. We are focused to bring opportunities to Stoke on Trent and I believe the private sector will lead to the renewal of wealth in local areas and then ultimately the economy.
“This loan fund is all about providing Stoke on Trent business talent with the support it needs. I hope that the event helped make those who advise our local businesses aware of this opportunity for access to finance. They can then hopefully encourage more businesses to take up this very special Stoke on Trent offer."
Any Stoke on Trent business wishing to apply for a loan should contact BCRS on 0845 313 8410 or online at www.bcrs.org.uk where BCRS will aim to give a quick response through the fast track online application facility.