The North West is home to a number of thriving economic centres such as Liverpool, Preston and Bolton. In particular, Manchester, the home of one of the UK's most robust and high-growth startup scenes, boasts a digital technology turnover of around £2.9 billion.
In addition to the region's booming startup scene, the number of SMEs is growing. According to the SME Growth Forecast Index from Capital Economics, the SME sector in Greater Manchester has grown by around 36.5% since 2010, the highest amount in the UK. The diversity of industries has also helped the SME economy in the North West hold its own, with a growing presence in sectors such as technology, healthcare, science and construction.
North West Business Loans
Crucial to maintaining growth, SMEs and startups often need financial support or a cash boost to get them up and running, pay for typical costs like stock, equipment and key employees as well as keeping a healthy cash flow.
However, Fleximize’s own research found that, in the first half of 2015 alone, banks had turned down nearly £240 million worth of funding applications from SMEs in the North West. Clearly, there’s an issue if smaller businesses are still struggling to get their hands on much needed financing.
There are, however, a number of finance companies in Manchester, Liverpool and all around the country, with funding designed to help businesses who have been, or may be, rejected by their bank. To help SMEs and startups in the North West find crucial funding, here’s a list of alternative sources of business funding;
Fleximize – This alternative finance provider supports SMEs at all life stages with loans between £5,000 and £500,000. The funding is designed to meet the needs of each individual business, with money reaching your account in as little as 48 hours. Its straightforward application process is an efficient and convenient route to short-term lending for limited companies and LLPs. Sole traders can apply if they want to borrow £25,000 or more.
BBV Online – New and growing enterprises in the North West can apply for loans – mainly unsecured – ranging from £3,000 and £50,000, as long as they’re an SME, charity, social enterprise or not-for-profit organization. Applicants must be planning to create new jobs, and prove they’ve been rejected by traditional finance providers like banks.
Lancashire Community Finance – With offices across the county, this provider offers affordable loans for startups, as well as cash for developing businesses from £400 and £25,000.
PNE Enterprise – SMEs in Cumbria can apply for startup loans up to £25,000, repaid over a term of 1 to 5 years. Business mentoring, online learning and other benefits come with the loan. However, if your business is a more established, growing business, you’ll need to source funding from a more suitable lender.
Enterprise Ventures SME Loans – Bringing together Greater Manchester Pension Fund and Santander UK, this scheme offers SMEs loans ranging from £150,000 and £1 million. You must have 3 years’ trading history and £100,000 current or expected operating profit, and £1 million turnover. Although suitable for established enterprises, this may not be the best option for micro-businesses, startups or early-stage firms.
MSIF – Startup loans up to £25,000 are available to small businesses based in and around Liverpool – other locations in the North West are also considered. A not-for-profit organization, MSIF provides loans from £250, but businesses need to be very young, with a maximum of 12 months’ trading. The organization also invests in businesses up to around £2 million.
Greater Manchester Investment Fund – To promote new jobs and SME growth in Greater Manchester, the local authorities are offering business loans between £500,000 and £5 million. Applicants need to prove they’ve been turned down by other lenders, that there’s a funding gap, and that they’re going to create new employment opportunities in the Greater Manchester region.
North West Fund for Loans Plus – Merseyside businesses can apply for loans between £50,000 and £750,000 from this fund handled by FW Capital. Money is repaid over a period of 3.5 and 7 years, but be quick – applications close on 30 June 2016.
North West Fund for Micro Loans – Another loan scheme for Merseyside SMEs, but this one's for startups. Entrepreneurs an borrow amounts between £25,000 and £50,000 in one round. The cash can be co-invested with other finance providers. Applicants need to provide a business loan and plans for growth to be eligible.
Apply for a small business loan today
It only takes a few minutes to apply for a flexible business loan from Fleximize. Our team is always ready to make a speedy lending decision, so you can focus on building your business. Click on Apply Now to get things started.
You can also call the team at Fleximize on 0207 100 0110 to ask about your lending options.
It's also well worth looking at The Ultimate Guide to Business Funding – a fantastic resource to help you research the different types of business financing currently available to you.