A loan fund created to help Staffordshire businesses gain essential access to finance has had a Â£37million impact on the local economy in the five years it has been running.
The Staffordshire Business Loan Fund, run in by the county council and managed by BCRS Business Loans, went live in 2009. It provides loans of between Â£10,000 and Â£50,000 to small businesses that have been turned away by the banks. Since its creation the fund has resulted in over Â£3,580,000 being lent to 134 businesses that has in turn created and protected 960 jobs.
The knock-on impact of the loan fund on Staffordshireâ€™s economy has been significant. Impact measurement is integrated into the fundâ€™s investment process in a number of ways. One of the first steps is to determine the effect that any loan will have, not only on the business but the bearing it will have on the people and businesses living and working locally.
Paul Kalinauckas, BCRS chief executive said: â€œOur combination of market knowledge and our personal approach to the finance arena has seen us increase not only our reputation as a route for access to finance but more importantly the impact we have been able to have on Staffordshire based businesses and families.
â€œThere is no great secret to our success. Whilst the past five years in the finance market have been challenging, we have continually offered a consultative and empathetic approach to the small businesses in Staffordshire. We are people focused rather than profit focused and our customers and project partners really enjoy working with usâ€.
The loan scheme is part financed by Staffordshire County Council and the European Regional Development Fund.