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 Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, the region has become home to growing clusters of entrepreneurs.
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. Finally, 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
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. 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.
New Anglia LEP – The Growing Business Fund is a regional grant for local businesses looking to grow and create new jobs. Delivered by New Anglia LEP in partnership with Suffolk County Council and Finance East, funding of up to £500,000 is available, and can be used to fund up to 20% of the total cost of a project.
East of England Regional Growth Scheme - Supported by the government department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, this loan scheme is available to established businesses within East Anglia that turnover at least £100k annually. Loans range from £50,000 to £250,000 and are available to businesses based in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
Transport and Logistical Efficiencies (TALE) Grant and Support Scheme - TALE is an ERDF funded project helping SMEs in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent and East Sussex make the most of their logistics data to improve profit margins and reduce costs. TALE Grants are set at 40% of your total data project budget, with your company funding the other 60%. Your project can include elements of capital, revenue, software, consultancy and staff costs.
Foundation East - This organisation provides finance and support for businesses who struggle to find funding due to a poor credit history or a lack of assets. Loans of up to £100,000 are available to enterprises that provide a social purpose.
NWES – Along with being a Start Up Loans provider, this enterprise agency provides a 'Norfolk and Suffolk Small Business Grant Scheme' to businesses looking to improve productivity/efficiency or launch new products and services. The fund can be used to cover 20% of the total cost of a project, with some businesses in certain areas eligible for a 30% contribution.
StartEast – This is a business support and grants programme for creatives in Suffolk and Norfolk who are looking to start up a business in an artistic sector, such as music, performing arts, media and print. Funding of between £1,000 and £10,000 is available, along with business advice, business support, workshops and masterclasses.
Norfolk Foundation - A wide range of grants and funding is available to social enterprises, voluntary or community groups within local areas of Norfolk through Norfolk Foundation. Grants are uploaded on a rolling basis.
You can take a look at the current list of Start Up Loans delivery partners in East Anglia here.
Apply for a flexible business loan
As a business based in the heart of Ipswich, Fleximize understands first-hand the needs of SMEs in East Anglia. To discuss the lending options on offer for local startups and growing enterprises, call the team today on 020 7100 0110, or click on Apply Now to start the quick and easy application process.
Danny Bloomfield is one of the franchisees of Suffolk-based Premier Education Group. He contacted Fleximize in 2017 after having a frustrating experience trying to secure funding from his bank. At Fleximize, we were able to help Danny out by quickly providing funding which allowed him to finance a management buyout and improve his infrastructure across his Premier franchises. Watch the video below to hear about Danny’s experience with Fleximize, or click here to read his story in full.
If you run a business in East Anglia, call us on 020 7100 0110, and our friendly Suffolk-based team will be happy to answer any questions you might have. Or, if you’re ready to start your finance application, simply click the button below.
In the meantime, check out our guide to alternative finance for a host of other funding options available to UK SMEs.