Entrepreneurs in Barnsley are being offered new loans to get their businesses off the ground. The loans have been made available thanks to a new alliance between a national funding charity and a Barnsley business support organisation.
The Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) has joined forces with Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC) which delivers the SmartStart and Genesis programmes which are part-funded by Enterprising Barnsley.
The companies supported by these business start-up and incubation schemes will now be eligible to apply for CRT’s ‘Micro Business Loans’.
Peter McNestry, of Coalfields Regeneration Trust, said: “Our partnership with BBIC means that our loans will go hand in hand with the free, expert wrap-around business support offered by Enterprising Barnsley.
“The companies we loan money to will be in a much stronger position to use the investment to successfully establish and grow their business.”
Tim Milburn, chief executive of BBIC, said: “We are delighted to become CRT’s partner in Barnsley. We look forward to continue helping the businesses we support, offering them the additional option of applying for a CRT loan to help them grow.”
New companies and those which have been trading less than two years are eligible to apply for a Micro Business Loan worth between £500 and £3,000. Start-up and early stage businesses like these can often find it difficult to gain finance. The Micro Business Loans have a two year repayment period with an interest rate of 10 per cent.
The Coalfields Regeneration Trust introduced the Micro Business Loan Scheme in response to the Clapham Report of 2010, which showed that, statistically, coalfield areas have far fewer businesses registered per head of population than the national average. The Trust aims to work with local partners in former mining communities across the UK to offer the loans as ‘money with management’ to new businesses in order to help ensure business sustainability.
The Genesis programme helps businesses with growth potential in the first year or two of their life offering intensive business coaching support, technical assistance and business development workshops. SmartStart is a programme of free workshops and one-to-one advice for people considering starting a business.
Genesis and SmartStart are part-funded by the Enterprising Barnsley programme which is supported financially by the European Union. The Enterprising Barnsley project has attracted £2,259,511 investment into Barnsley from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.