The UK’s beer industry presents a rare opportunity for small businesses to have the upper hand over their corporate rivals - if they play their cards right. The ever-growing demand for local craft beers, alongside favourable tax breaks, has seen entrepreneurs quickly flourish in this thriving market. Despite the pandemic, the British love of beer has continued to inspire many people to start their own businesses, with the number of breweries growing to just over 3,000 according to UHY Hacker Young.
The recent disruption to the hospitality sector severely impacted the sale of alcohol through pubs, bars, and restaurants, resulting in an estimated 87 million pints being poured down the drain. Smaller operations faced a struggle to survive, particularly with a lack of government support, but many breweries were able to adapt by introducing direct-to-consumer channels, as well as developing their product lines with more flavours, modified packaging, and entirely new goods like hand sanitisers.
Gaining access to funding is an essential step for many micro-and small-sized breweries, as it provides the working capital that brewery owners need to make key changes to their operations, improve their offering, and promote their business in a competitive market.
Read on to find out how brewery finance works, what it can be used for, and how to apply with Fleximize.
Funding a brewery business
Barriers to entry are relatively low for budding brewers, largely due to government policy which has tried to help newer breweries compete with beer giants. In 2020, plans were announced to lower the tax threshold for Small Brewers Relief, which provides a 50% discount on beer duty based on production volumes, to further support microbreweries and encourage productivity. Moreover, most startups don’t tend to purchase premises for their brewing activity, with many launching their business from a kitchen table or garage, so there is little investment needed at this stage.
However, once a brewer decides to turn their hobby into a serious venture, they’ll have to consider how to fund its growth. As well as purchasing or leasing an appropriate brewing site, brewers also need to finance the ongoing cost of labour, transport, and raw materials, as well as one-off costs such as machinery upgrades, brewery expansion and marketing campaigns. As larger corporations increasingly target the craft beer market, effective branding and marketing have become crucial for local breweries to differentiate their authentic values and produce.
Unless a brewer has a large amount of personal capital to invest in their new business, they may need a brewery loan from an external provider. As many banks won’t consider a small business for funding unless it’s been trading for two years or more, many independent breweries instead choose an alternative lender when looking for craft brewery finance. With a lender like Fleximize, small businesses get access to funding in as little as 24 hours. If you’re considering how to get a business loan for your brewery, we cover the key details of our financing solutions below.
Brewery loans from Fleximize
A number of breweries and distilleries have chosen Fleximize for speedy lending decisions and flexible finance, whether to secure new premises, purchase more equipment, or rebrand products. You can find out more about our Flexiloan and Flexiloan Lite products by visiting our services page, but here are the key features:
- Brewery business loans of £5,000 – £500,000
- Competitive interest rates starting from 0.9% per month
- Quick and easy online application with minimum paperwork
- Approval and deposit in as little as 24 hours
- Interest charged on a reducing balance, not the total loan amount
- Top-ups and repayment holidays with all loans
- No hidden fees or early repayment penalties
- Exclusive discounts on industry-leading business services from our B2B partners
We don’t apply the strict criteria of banks, and while we look at a company’s credit history, it’s only one factor that we consider. So, if your company can demonstrate strong financial growth, and you’ve been trading for a minimum of six months, you’re more than welcome to apply. This means that if you’re a relatively new company looking for a brewery startup loan, Fleximize could provide the capital boost you need to grow your business.
What can brewery finance be used for?
Our loans can be put to use in a variety of different ways, such as expanding your premises to upscale production or creating new products like non-alcoholic or gluten-free drinks to capitalize on new trends. Here are just some of the ways our brewery loans can be used:
Does my business qualify for a brewery loan?
We try to say yes to as many businesses as possible, and within 24 hours of receiving all your documents, so you can start planning your business’ future. In cases where our criteria aren’t met, we can work with you to find a suitable loan provider. You could apply for business finance with Fleximize if:
- You are a registered limited company or LLP.
- You’re a sole trader or non-limited partnership with less than four partners, in which case you can borrow a minimum of £25,000.
- You have been trading for a minimum of six months with a minimum monthly turnover of £5,000.
- Your business is based in England or Wales. If you’re based in Scotland or Northern Ireland, we can offer an unsecured loan of up to £250,000.
Our flexible lending criteria means that even if your credit score isn't perfect, we won’t automatically dismiss your application. Our decisions are made by real people who will consider the unique circumstances of each business to help you get the finance you need.
How much will my brewery loan cost?
Our interest rates start from 0.9% per month and there are no hidden fees to worry about. Our Penalty-Free Promise allows you to save on interest by settling your brewery finance early without any additional fees.
You can use our business loan calculator to get an instant estimate of what your brewery loan could cost and how the repayments would work, including the potential savings if you were to settle early. Alternatively, call us on 020 7100 0110 to receive a tailored quote for your business.
Why choose Fleximize as your brewery loan provider?
As a multi-award-winning digital business lender, Fleximize has lent more than £200 million to thousands of SMEs like yours across the UK. Here’s what you can expect when you apply for small brewery finance with us:
- Fuss-free funding: With our online application, you can apply for business finance in just a few minutes, and receive the funds in as little as 24 hours.
- Flexibility: We understand that no two businesses are the same, which is why we’re committed to providing flexible funding that caters to the needs of any business owner. Along with top-ups and repayment holidays, our Penalty-Free Promise guarantees that you can repay your loan early without any fees.
- Personal service: Your dedicated relationship manager will work closely with you to get to know your business, and make sure your brewery finance is tailored to your needs. If you decide to return for another round of funding in the future, you’ll be greeted by the same point of contact.
- Glowing recommendations: Our ‘excellent’ Trustpilot rating and customer case studies are a testament to how highly our clients value us and our dedication to supporting their businesses.
- Award-winning products: We’ve twice been named the UK’s Best Business Finance Provider at the British Bank Awards, as voted for by customers.
How to apply for our brewery loans
Applying for brewery financing with Fleximize couldn't be simpler - just complete our short online form to get started. If you pass our initial checks, one of our relationship managers will be in touch to take you through the final steps. Once we have everything we need, you could get approved and receive your loan on the same day.
Alternatively, you can take a closer look at our funding options or check how your repayments might look using our business loan calculator. For more information on how we can help your brewery, or any other enquiries, you can give us a call.