SMEs in Wales cover a huge diversity of sectors and have been recently experiencing a rise in foreign export. Between 2012 and 2014, almost 5,000 businesses were exporting goods and services. In fact, the region saw a 32% growth in exporting firms during those 3 years – more than any other part of the UK. This is according to Santander Corporate and Commercial, which cited the Welsh government’s support of export as the reason for the hike.
Wales currently boasts 213,000 SMEs, with the region relying heavily on high-growth small businesses, which create thousands of new jobs and more than £100 million in additional economic output.
Welsh Business Loans
The region's growth in SMEs is great for the local economy and communities, but what about small business funding? With banks lending less to SMEs these days, small and medium-sized enterprises now need alternative finance (Altfi) providers to help sustain and continue to grow. Here are a few sources of money that offer that very important alternative:
Fleximize – As an alternative finance provider, Fleximize offers flexible business loans to SMEs, which can be deposited in as little as 48 hours. Limited companies, LLPs, and non-limited partnerships with four or more partners can borrow 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. You only need to have been trading for a minimum of six months, and you can repay the loan over a term of up to 48 months. Each loan is designed for each individual SME, and Fleximize relationship managers make sure the loan is affordable.
Finance Wales – Micro loans from £1,000 and £50,000 are available for startups and early-stage enterprises. Also, funding between £50,000 and £200,000 is on offer for more established, growing SMEs. All applicants must employ fewer than 250 people and have an annual turnover up to €50 million. Also, for loans up to £50,000 you’ll need to submit a two-year business plan, and any amount beyond that, you’ll need to present a plan of up to three years.
Robert Owen Community Banking – Loans between £9,000 and £25,000 are available for startups that have been trading for up to 24 months. The interest rate is 6% p.a. and the money can be paid back over a term of up to 5 years. The organization doesn’t lend to certain industries including gambling.
Capital Investment Loans – Growing SMEs that plan to recruit more staff in the Cardiff area can apply for loans from this lender. The money is focused on key industries of ICT, creative, life sciences, manufacturing, business services and green tech. You need to be using innovation, working to boost your competitiveness, investing in technology, and making environmental improvements to commercial property, among other requirements.
Cardiff & Vale Credit Union Business Loan Fund – Loans between £5,000 and £100,000 can be repaid over a term of up to 5 years. The cash is for capital purchases like plant and machinery, vehicles, IT and equipment.
Wales Micro-Business Loan Fund – Social enterprises can apply for loans between £1,000 and £50,000, repaid over a term of up to 5 years. Money is available for startups that are incorporated organizations, there's a typical 10% interest rate plus arrangement fee.
Antur Teifi – SMEs in Powys, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, and North Wales can apply for loans between £1,000 and £25,000. Businesses need to be trading for a maximum of 12 months, but the lender may also consider SMEs operating for 2 years.
Newport City Council – This local authority is lending up to £10,000 for new businesses operating for more than 12 months in Newport. The repayment term ranges from 12 and 36 months with an interest rate at 1% above the Bank of England’s base rate.
UK Steel Enterprise Loans – Money is being invested in businesses in communities hit by changes to Britain’s steel industry. Loans starting at £25,000 is available for working capital, equipment purchase, premises, relocation, starting up, among other purposes. Borrowers repay over 3 to 5 years.
Pembrokeshire Lottery Loan Fund – New and existing SMEs in the county can apply for loans to expand and create new jobs. There’s a focus on businesses that are also bringing resources into the region or providing services otherwise not available in Pembrokeshire. The funding will cover up to 35% of capital project costs, with an upper limit of £35,000. Repayments can be made over 2 to 5 years and you must take part in the Pembrokeshire Lottery.
Gwynedd Business Loan Fund – SMEs in the Gwynedd Council area can apply for loans ranging from £25,000 and £100,000, over a typical repayment term of 36 to 60 months. There are also asset loans up to £750,000, which borrowers have at least 60 months to pay back.
Apply now for a business loan
Fleximize offers a quick and easy online application process – simply click Apply Now to set the wheels in motion.
Or call 0207 100 0110 to have a friendly chat with the Fleximize team.
Also, it's worth looking through this great whitepaper, which is packed with other small business funding options: The Ultimate Guide to Business Funding.