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Greeting card business speeds up expansion using micro loan approved in 2 days using Finance Wales’ new streamlined application process

When Caryl Halstead started creating greeting cards and wedding stationery for family and friends 9 years ago she dreamt of turning her hobby into a business.

In 2013 her dream became a reality with the launch of Miss Bela Designs and today her greeting cards and other gifts are available in over 45 shops throughout Wales as well as on notonthehighstreet.com, the online marketplace for small businesses.

Business has been brisk since 2013 and Caryl is now using an unsecured £5,000 micro loan from Finance Wales to expand her business and re-launch as Caryl Halstead at the recent 'Top Drawer' trade show, the UK’s leading international design-led trade show held annually at London Olympia. 'Top Drawer' attracts national and international buyers from department stores, multiple and independent retailers.

Caryl is also using Finance Wales’ loan to launch a new website, promote her business at other key trade shows and buy new printing equipment to expand her range on notonthehighstreet.com.

The expansion will also see the business take on its first member of staff in 2016.

“Turning my passion for design into a business has been my personal goal for many years, so I’m pleased my products are proving so popular. My business has grown beyond my expectations over the last two years and Finance Wales’ loan has given me the financial boost I need to build on this success.

“Svetlana at Finance Wales understood how I wanted to expand my business and how much money I needed. As I’d been trading for over 2 years, I only needed to complete a short application form. My application was approved in 2 days and I received my loan within 7 days of applying.”

Svetlana Goode, North Wales local investment executive from Finance Wales’ micro loans team added: “Caryl’s designs have attracted considerable attention and she’s quickly built up an impressive customer base since 2013. Micro loans can have a big impact on small businesses like Caryl’s as they can fund a wide range of practical business expenses, such as marketing costs, the costs of taking on new staff or buying stock or equipment.

“Eligible businesses needing a cash injection of £1,000 to £5,000 can now benefit from Finance Wales’ streamlined two-day process, helping them to get their plans underway quickly or take advantage of new business opportunities.”

Eligible Welsh SMEs can apply for microloans of between £1,000 and £50,000 from Finance Wales, while businesses that have traded for over 2 years can apply for a loan of between £1,000 and £5,000 using Finance Wales’ streamlined two-day application process.

The streamlined application process applies to loans from the Welsh Government-backed Wales Micro-business Loan Fund and is available until further notice.

SMEs wishing to apply for micro loans and other investments should contact Finance Wales on 0800 587 4140, e-mail info@financewales.co.uk or visit our micro loans page.