That’s a Wrap for Wunderbars

A Cradley Heath company that specialises in a revolutionary framing system for canvas wraps has gone from strength to strength thanks to help from the Sandwell Business Loan Fund run by BCRS Small Business Loans. 

Wunderbars received a loan from the fund which was specifically created to help Sandwell based businesses that are unable to obtain finance from banks. The loan was required to help with the expansion plans of the Wunderbar brand which included increasing stock, leasing machinery and to create new job opportunities. 

Tim Jones, Managing Director of Wunderbars approached the Sandwell Business Loan for £50,000 after being turned down for finance by the banks. However, after only 18 months he was able to take advantage of BCRS’s no early repayment charge and settle the outstanding amount in full. 

“We are grateful to BCRS and the Sandwell Loan Fund as it got us to where we are today. The loan helped us bridge the financial gap we found ourselves with and demonstrate a positive financial track record. This enabled us to access more investment into the business” said Tim. 

Established in 2009, Wunderbars have become a firm favourite with both retailers and photographers who appreciate the unique self-tensioning corner blocks that ensure the canvas never sags and that the print always remains taut. 

Fujifilm, Wunderbars main customer discovered the framing specialist around five years ago at an exhibition. “I went to Fuji Film in Belgium with a device to stretch canvas and they didn’t take it at that time, but I kept in touch with my contact there, commented Tim. 

“He then got back to me at a later date and asked if we made stretcher bars. I told him about Wunderbars and he asked for samples. It’s snowballed from there. We now supply the UK, Sweden and Belgium through Fuji.” 

Employing 10 people, Wunderbars are thoroughly committed to taking the brand even further and continuing to help the local economy. 

David Gill, Director said, “We’re in the heart of a manufacturing area where making things is still a part of life – in other parts of the UK, it’s crumbled. When we need to recruit, there’s a pool of skilled people here. Black Country people have manufacturing in their blood, so the people we bring in are very resourceful and have a strong work ethic.” 

Wunderbars mission is to source as much as it can from the local area. 

“We source locally as much as possible and manufacture Wunderbars from Scandinavian pine from a UK mill. The components in the expansion cartridge come from around the corner and the wood is machined on the premises. The frames are then assembled manually here. Even our boxes are made in Lye.  In addition, as and when we need to recruit we always try to attract a local resident to help keep wealth within the area,” concluded David. 

The Sandwell Business Loan Fund is managed by BCRS and loans of between £10,000 and £50,000 are available, but only to viable Sandwell businesses already turned away by main stream lenders. 

Paul Kalinauckas, Chief Executive of BCRS, said: “We work hard in order to identify needs of the Sandwell business population and how we can deliver services at a local level. As a small business fund, BCRS has a more flexible approach to lending. If a business who has taken a loan can pay us back early it means we can lend it out to another business in the area that needs our assistance.” 

Cllr Derek Rowley, Sandwell’s Cabinet for jobs and economy said: “We’re pleased to see yet another Sandwell businesses benefit from the BCRS Small Business Loans. Helping local businesses thrive is one of Sandwell Council’s key priorities and we urge other companies looking for support to get in touch.” 

For any Sandwell based businesses looking for access to finance please contact BCRS through the fast track online application facility at www.bcrs.org.uk 

To find out more about Wunderbars please visit www.wunderbars.com

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