The South East of England has a strong and varied array of industries in rural areas and towns, ranging from electronics and aerospace to healthcare, financial services and tourism. In addition to this, towns such as Brighton, Guildford, Maidstone and Chelmsford have all weathered recent economic uncertainty well, and continue to have thriving business ecosystems. With key transport infrastructure – Heathrow and Gatwick airports, the Channel Tunnel and high-speed access to the Continent – SMEs are ideally located to attract local, national and international trade.
Close to the UK's main business hub of London, they’re also positioned very attractively for potential investors. However, if you’re not planning on giving away equity in your business, there are other local funding options. Business loans can boost your SME, while ensuring you retain total control. But finding a source of funding that is flexible, accessible and on your terms isn't exactly easy. Here's a list of lenders that can provide funding to small businesses in the South East.
South East Business Loans
Fleximize – Limited companies, LLPs, and non-limited partnerships with four or more partners are eligible to apply for loans from £5,000 to £500,000, and sole traders or non-limited partnerships with less than four partners can apply for loans over £25,000. Whether you’re an early-stage or established business, Fleximize's relationship managers work closely with you to find the best possible funding product. Repayment terms span one month to 48 months, and you only need to be trading for a minimum of six months.
Let’s Do Business – Business Growth Loans – Business loans are available for SMEs in Sussex, Kent, Surrey and Hampshire that have been trading for at least 1 year. You can borrow between £3,000 and £50,000 over a term of up to seven years. An arrangement fee is required.
Let’s Do Business – Start Up – A delivery partner of the government Start up Loans scheme, Let’s Do Business is providing entrepreneurs over 18 with loans. You must be based in Sussex, Kent, Surrey and Hampshire and be trading for a maximum of 12 months to borrow money. Payment terms range between 12 months and 20 months.
Wealden & Eastbourne Small Business Loan – Micro-enterprises in Eastbourne and Wealden with 10 or fewer employees can apply for loans between £5,000 and £15,000. There’s a 4% arrangement fee and the money can be repaid over 6 to 60 months.
Coalfield Community Loans in Kent – Startups in the old mining villages of Kent are eligible for business loans. Small amounts up to £5,000 are repaid between 3 and 5 years. So if your business is based in places like Aylesham, Mill Hill and North Deal, and you’re just starting up, you can apply.
Expansion East Kent – Small Business Boost – If you’re a business under 6 years old and located in Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Shepway or Thanet, you can apply for a loan of between £2,000 and £50,000. You also need to need employ fewer than 50 people and planning on creating more jobs. You’ll need to find match funding from a private source.
Marsh Business Boost Loan Scheme – Startups in the areas of Ashford and Shepway are able to apply for business loans between £2,500 and £50,000. You need to be expanding and creating employment opportunities and demonstrate you can find private-sector match funding.
Thomas Arneway Trust – This charity lends to small businesses in Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey and West Sussex. You need to be a startup or early-stage enterprise. Loans are made to you personally, and you'll need 2 guarantors who’ll be prepared to repay the loan if you default. You can borrow up to £10,000, with repayment terms of up to 3 years.
Coast to Capital Expansion Funding Escalator – Limited companies in Surrey and Sussex that have been operating for at least 12 months, and have a £100,000 turnover can apply for business loans ranging from £50,000 to £200,000. The repayment term is up to 4 years. If this level of funding is affordable for your SME, it’s a good source of financing. But for smaller businesses that need to borrow less, another provider could help.
Thames Valley Berkshire Expansion Loan Scheme – As with the above loan schemes, limited companies in Berkshire can apply for loans ranging from £50,000 and £200,000. Repayments terms go up to 4 years, and an additional 5% of the loan amount could be available to enable SMEs to secure support for investment.
TVB Commercialisation Loan Scheme – This funding programme is specifically for startup and early-stage limited companies, which have already successfully secured initial sales in their product or service. SMEs need to be in Berkshire and use the money to develop a market presence. Loans range from £25,000 and £50,000.
South East Sustainability Loan Fund – High-growth businesses in the South East (not London) can apply for loans between £25,000 and £200,00, but need to match-fund the money. The financing is for the development and sales of products or services that aim to lower carbon emissions in the region.
Apply for a business loan today
If you want to fund your business as soon as possible, then click on the Apply Now button to find out how much you can borrow from Fleximize. Or give the team a call for a friendly chat about your funding options on 0207 100 0110.
For more information on even more funding options for SMEs across the UK, read The Ultimate Guide to Business Funding.