The small business scene in the East of England is thriving. With many business owners relocating from London due to the hefty cost of living, and setting up their own enterprises in Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, the region has become home to growing clusters of entrepreneurs.
Hotspots for innovation
With its foundations in research, development and innovation, Cambridgeshire is leading the way in generating SME hubs. But ambitious business owners in the other counties are pursuing their own vision by launching new enterprises.
Ipswich and Norwich have been identified as hot-spots for digital startups, which are creating new jobs, working with the latest knowledge and innovations from local universities, and spawning new ventures from larger employers such as BT.
With Essex being so close to London, the county is the ideal base for entrepreneurs seeking affordable premises and experienced employees.
East of England Business Loans
To continue to grow and bolster the regional economy, local SMEs need support. Throughout the East of England there are lots of business lenders providing essential funding. Here are some useful examples of public and private sector funding providers offering loans to small and medium-size enterprises:
Fleximize – With its HQ in Ipswich, Suffolk, this innovative small business lender provides a range of flexible business loans to limited companies and LLPs. From the Flexiloan to the Revenue Advance, Fleximize's relationship managers guide small business owners through the speedy application process to make sure they get the right loan for their needs. Money can be in your account within 48 hours, making this the ideal funding solution for startups and growing SMEs in the East of England.
Mid Suffolk Barclays Loan Scheme – The Stowmarket branch of Barclays welcomes applications for small business loans up to £50,000. SMEs need to be in the Mid Suffolk area with a turnover of under £750,000. The local council subsidizes the interest rates for 2 years. Contact the bank’s Local Business Manager, Allen Fulcher, on 07500 783 573 for more information.
FSE Group – If you’re an incorporated business with at least a £100,000 turnover, and you’re based in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk or Suffolk, you can potentially secure a loan of £50,000 and £200,000. Money supplied by the East of England Regional Growth Loan Scheme is available for a variety of industries, although there are exclusions including horticulture, agriculture and hotels.
Foundation East – A wide range of business loans up to £100,000 are available to SMEs across the East of England. Startup loans, growth funding, cash flow loans, and finance for social enterprises are among the lending options offered by Foundation East. The only factor worth considering, is that the application process can take a while. If you need money quickly, then an alternative provider might be more suited to your requirements.
Fredericks Foundation – Fredericks and the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation are working together to provide startups and growing SMEs in the county. Get in touch with them to get more details.
NWES – This enterprise agency provides startup loans to small businesses across the East of England and Lincolnshire. One of the many delivery partners of the national Startup Loans Scheme, NWES lends up to £25,000 to enterprises trading for up to 2 years.
New Anglia LEP – The Growing Places Fund is a regional lending scheme limited to businesses creating new homes and jobs in Norfolk and Suffolk. Large infrastructure loans are available, as well as smaller amounts up to £500,000 from the Small Loans Fund. Although ideal for property and infrastructure development schemes, this does exclude many of the region's other SMEs, which need to look at other options.
Cambridge & County Bank – If you need a commercial mortgage this local bank provides loans for property purchase, refinancing or raising capital. Borrowers can apply for mortgages between £50,000 and £4 million on repayment terms ranging from 3 to 20 years.
Braintree Business Growth Loan Fund – Capital investment loans are available from Braintree District Council in Essex. Locally based businesses can apply for pots of cash ranging from £5,000 to £100,000, but it only covers 50% of the funding total. The other half needs to be funded by money from private sector sources. The scheme is only open to incorporated companies.
Thomas Arneway Trust – Lending to small businesses in London and the home counties, including Essex, the trust supports startups or early-stage SMEs. Loans are made to you personally, not to your business, so be very cautious in terms of how much you borrow. Since you'll need 2 guarantors, you could put them in a difficult position if you can't repay the loan. You can borrow up to £10,000, with repayment terms of up to 3 years.
Wilson’s Loan Trust – Young entrepreneurs in Essex can receive financial support from this charity, operated by the City of London Corporation. Small business applicants need to be operated by people under 40, and the enterprise must be recently launched or about to be launched. Loans up to £50,000 are available. There are restrictions in terms of types of businesses able to apply; businesses that sell or distill liquors, and public limited companies are not eligible.
Apply for a flexible loan
As a business based in the East of England, Fleximize understands the needs of regional SMEs. To discuss the lending options on offer for local startups and growing enterprises, call the team today on 0207 100 0110.
Its suite of funding solutions, specially designed for small and medium-sized businesses, could give you all the financial support you need, now and in the future.
Or click on Apply Now to start the quick and easy application process.