Demand for micro loans more than doubles as businesses take advantage of new Welsh Government fund
Small businesses all over Wales are taking advantage of micro
loans from Finance Wales. Demand for the loans of up to £25,000 has
more than doubled in the 2012 -13 financial year compared to the
previous financial year. 62 businesses have so far benefitted from
micro loans totalling £844,000.
Business Minister Edwina Hart welcomed the news: “The Welsh
Government established the Wales Micro-business Loan Fund in direct
response to recommendations from the Micro-business task and finish
group which emphasised that access to finance is a key barrier to
growth. “I am pleased to see that a wide range of small businesses
across Wales are now benefiting from the Fund and would urge others
to follow suit and contact Finance Wales. Micro-businesses play a
key role in the Welsh economy and this Fund means there is more
finance available for them to invest in their businesses, grow and
Micro loans are available from Finance Wales from the
recently-launched £6 million Wales Micro-business Loan Fund as well
as the European-backed £150 million Wales JEREMIE
“We’re particularly pleased to see demand for micro loans
increasing so strongly. Micro loans have always been available from
Finance Wales, but the Wales Micro-business Loan Fund allows us to
lend to a much wider range of Welsh businesses, including those
which sell goods or provide services to consumers,” explained
Finance Wales’ New Investments Fund Manager, Mike Owen.
Welsh businesses benefitting from Finance Wales’ micro loans
- Bryn Tanat Hall, a boutique hotel in Powys has
used a £20,000 micro loan to install a new wood pellet boiler which
will be cheaper to run.
- A £25,000 micro loan has enabled Bridgend-based industrial
electronic equipment repairer, Kontroltek to
purchase new test rigs so that it can take on new contracts.
- The new owners of Carmarthen’s Teifi Mania
indoor play centre have combined a £25,000 micro loan with bank
finance to create a special toddlers’ area.
“Micro loans can help with a range of investment needs,
including start-up costs, capital expenditure and stock purchases.
Businesses often use them to unlock much-needed additional
investment. We also have a streamlined application process which
ensures we can be responsive to businesses’ needs,” Owen
Welsh social enterprises are also set to benefit from the
Microbusiness Fund, with £1 million earmarked for micro loans to
social enterprises. The Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA)
has been appointed to manage this element of the Fund on behalf of
Graham Benfield, WCVA’s Chief Executive said: “The £1 million
available will provide a real boost for social enterprises and
provide them with much-needed finance to get their projects off the
ground. It’s important that these organisations flourish throughout
Wales because revenues and profits will always be reinvested back
into supporting local services, people and communities.”
The Micro-business Loan Fund was a key recommendation of the
independent Micro-business Task and Finish Group commissioned by
the Welsh Government. IoD Regional Director, Robert Lloyd Griffiths
chaired the Group.
He said: “Micro-businesses around Wales told us that access to
finance is key to their future success. Both the Micro-business
Loan and Wales SME Investment Funds have made significant amounts
of new capital available to Welsh small and medium-sized businesses
in the last year. I’m pleased that the Micro-business Loan Fund is
already having a significant impact and I’d urge more
micro-businesses to contact Finance Wales to discuss the options
open to them.”
Businesses interested in applying for a micro loan should
contact Finance Wales, while social
enterprises should contact WCVA.