Small businesses across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are getting the backing they need to support their development and expansion through a successful loans scheme.
Companies with 50 employees or less can access loans between Â£10,000 and Â£50,000 through the new joint initiative between Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council. Previously both offered separate loans schemes through the same organisation, BCRS. A joint scheme demonstrates better value for money and also reflects the local enterprise partnership area covering the city and county.
Both councils have contributed a collective Â£1m, matched by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to make a total of Â£2m available for lending to small businesses.
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for economy and infrastructure Mark Winnington said: “Backing small businesses is a top priority for the county council and our loans scheme is an important part of our support package. Businesses are still finding it difficult to access essential finance and we know our scheme is making a real difference.
“Since we launched the Staffordshire scheme in 2009, over 80 businesses have received loans and over 300 jobs have been created or safeguarded. Staffordshire has always been an enterprising county and we are committed to continue to support people looking to start or strengthen their business.Â I would urge anyone that has recently been turned away by their conventional lenders to get in touch with BCRS on 0845 313 8410 to see if they can help.”
Councillor Paul Shotton, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for economic development, added: “Through its Mandate for Change, Stoke-on-Trent City Council is pleased to contribute to the Small businesses Loan Scheme to help local enterprises to access finance in order to grow their business.”
BCRS business development manager Kathy Poole said: “Financial help for small businesses is at hand. We understand that getting business finance can sometimes be a problem, even if you have the potential to grow. We offer an alternative source of finance to enable people to progress their business development plans. People can just pick up the phone or complete a fast track enquiry form to see if we can help.Â I’m happy to talk face to face to supportÂ people through the efficient application process that we offer.”