BCRS Business Loans is delighted to announce that it has secured £7.5million from the Community Investment Enterprise Facility (CIEF), established by Big Society Capital and managed by Social Investment Scotland (SIS).
This funding milestone will provide a much-needed funding boost to small and medium sized businesses in the West Midlands that are unable to access commercial finance.
BCRS Business Loans is also in advanced negotiations with a bank to raise a further £7.5 million, which will be matched by Big Society Capital to create an overall fund of £15 million.
One of the attractions of the fund is the Community Investment Tax Relief available to the bank, which is a significant tax relief available to both individuals and companies who invest in accredited Community Development Finance Institutions such as BCRS.
This additional funding is set to help BCRS continue with its support for West Midlands based small and medium sized businesses who are struggling to access finance from traditional lenders – delivered in the form of business loans ranging from £10,000 to £150,000.
Stephen Deakin, Finance Director of BCRS Business Loans, said:
“This £15 million facility is really great news, not only for BCRS, but for SMEs across the West Midlands and surrounding areas who are looking to realise their growth and business aspirations.
“Alongside the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, this fund will enable us to achieve ambitious growth plans, which will enable us to increase our lending by 25% per annum for the next five years.
“The aims of this fund are very much aligned with our vision at BCRS Business Loans, which is to ensure that no viable business in the West Midlands goes unsupported.
“The fund is the culmination of over 3 years hard work and is a really exciting proof of concept fund that we hope to replicate a number of times to enable BCRS to leverage significant capital for on lending. This will help even more small businesses, which subsequently helps create and safeguard jobs for local people.”
Alastair Davis, Chief Executive of Social Investment Scotland, said:
“We are delighted to be managing the CIEF and have enjoyed working with the team at BCRS in bringing this fund to the market. In addition, both organisations are excited to be working with Sheffield Hallam University in a long-term research project measuring the impact of this fund in how it can benefit traditionally under-served areas.”
The fund will utilise the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme which facilitates business finance to smaller businesses that are viable but unable to obtain finance from their lender due to having insufficient security to meet the lender’s normal requirements.
Further information on both the facility and wider Community Investment project established by Big Society Capital can be found at: www.communityinvestment.co.uk.
To discover more about BCRS Business Loans and to submit your initial application form please visit www.bcrs.org.uk.