16 December, 2008
On Monday 8th December the Regional Minister Beverley Hughes and the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) launched a Transition Loan Fund for businesses in the region at the second meeting of the Joint Economic Commission for the North West.
Chair of the Commission and Regional Minister, Beverley Hughes and Deputy Chair Bryan Gray announced the support package, which follows the £200m catalogue of measures launched by the NWDA and the Prime Minister in September.
This new Transitional support, of at least £10m, is to help improve the finance options available to new and existing businesses in the North West, improving the lending available from commercial banks.
Minister for the North West Beverley Hughes, said: “This is part of a package of measures we are putting in place in the North West to protect families and businesses. This support will be a lifeline to some of the small and medium-sized businesses whose future health is so important to the region’s economy.”
Bryan Gray, Chairman of the NWDA and Deputy Chair of the Commission, said: “We have a new and enhanced £140m Venture Capital Loan Fund on the way in April but we are putting this funding in place now to bolster our existing financial support, to ensure we can help as many Small and Medium Sized businesses (SMEs), as we can to survive and grow.”
Funding is available to businesses with a viable business plan which demonstrate an ability to service the borrowing required, but which have been unable to obtain such funding from conventional commercial sources and in the absence of such funding is exposing the business to the risk of significant short term contraction or endangering its existence altogether.
To deliver this new support the agency is enhancing its existing small business loan product to provide lending for SME’s for loans between £3,000 to £50,000. The product is administered by Community Development Finance Institutions and is available across the North West for those businesses unable to raise the finance they need.
The NWDA is also finalising financial support to provide loans to businesses up to £250,000, and putting additional investment into its existing Venture Capital Loan Fund (VCLF) to provide mezzanine and equity funding as it continues the tender process for the establishment of its new, enhanced £140m VCLF, which will be available in April next year.
Source: Northwest Regional Development Agency