London's small businesses saw a dramatic spike in profits in 2015 – a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses showed that confidence is growing among SMEs in the capital, with profit growing by almost 50%.
The city is one of the world’s biggest hubs for startups and growing businesses. Entrepreneurs are drawn to London for its endless opportunities to meet investors, as well as like-minded collaborators and co-founders.
SME owners also have an unrivalled choice of the best in talented employees, eager to start their careers in dynamic industries like travel, digital, finance, design, retail, professional services and fashion.
London business loans
Although the small business scene continues to evolve, success should never be taken for granted. Many SMEs rely on financing to help them weather tough times, to find premises and to grow. And, with London being the most expensive city on the planet, finding funding can be the key to a business’ survival.
Below are a selection of funding providers that are worth considering if you’re about to start looking for money. Although London is a base for major funding providers, we’ve concentrated on some of the alternative options to give you the best possible choice.
Fleximize – One of the UK's leading small business lenders, Fleximize is located in London and Ipswich, Suffolk. Limited companies and LLPs can apply for flexible business loans ranging from £5,000 and £500,000 for all business purposes. The loans are designed to meet the requirements of individual businesses, and can be repaid over a flexible term of one month to 48 months. The money can even be in your account within 48 hours.
HBV Enterprise – This not-for-profit organization provides loans to SMEs in Hackney only. Businesses and social enterprises at pre-start, startup and development stage are eligible for funding between £3,000 and £25,000.
GLE Startup – In partnership with the Start Up Loans Company, GLE oneLondon is encouraging SMEs to apply for business loans between £500 and £25,000. The funding isn't suitable for established businesses, since you can only be trading for 2 years or less.
Fair Finance – This social business provides financing for SMEs turned down by mainstream funding providers. Small enterprises can borrow up to £200,000 and can be from a variety of industries. If you need to borrow less than £2,000 then this isn't the provider for you, since it's the lower level of lending available.
Micro Finance Loan Fund – This money is delivered by Merton Council in south London. Merton borough-based startups and growing micro-enterprises only can apply for small loans between £500 and £10,000.
Financing Start Up Enterprise – New businesses can apply for loans up to £25,000 over a term of up to 5 years. As long as you’ve been trading for 2 years or less, you’re eligible.
Small Business Centre – If you’re planning to start up or you already run an early-stage business you can apply for funding from this organization based in east London. Restrictions include: all applicants must be based in London, and if you already have the New Enterprise Allowance you're not eligible.
First Merchant – This is a funding provider for the capital's hospitality businesses, providing fixed interest loans, including a 12-month interest-only facility.
AIM Startups – Many creative businesses struggle to find funding, but AIM Startups is partnering with Virgin Start Up to offer early-stage business loans from £500 to £25,000. It's only open to creative startups, and has already helped businesses including a record label and a clothing designer.
Capital on Tap – SMEs can apply for loans up to £25,000 with rates determined by repayment behavior. Turnover needs to be at least £24,000, potentially excluding many micro enterprises, and have a minimum of 12 months’ trading history.
Samuel Wilson’s Loan Trust – London-based entrepreneurs under 40 can benefit from financial support from this charity, operated by the City of London Corporation. Small businesses must be recently launched or about to be launched. Loans go up to £50,000 but businesses that sell or distill liquors, and public limited companies are not eligible.
Enterprise for London – Unsecured loans between £500 and £25,000 are up for grabs. But first, you need to work on a business plan with Enterprise for London, then your application will be submitted for consideration. Enterprises need to be trading for 36 months or less.
Apply for a small business loan today
Fleximize's application process includes decisions made by real people and a speedy turnaround time, so busy SMEs can put their flexible business loan to good use quickly. You may want more information before making your decision – call 0207 100 0110 to have a chat with the Fleximize team.
Or, to begin a business loan application today, simply click the Apply Now button.
Want to do more research? Then look at The Ultimate Guide to Business Funding, which provides a comprehensive look at other financing options.