Finance Wales Looking to Put More into Micro Businesses; PS1M AVAILABLE TO GET SOCIAL ENTERPRISES OFF THE GROUND

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), February 27, 2013 | Go to article overview

Finance Wales Looking to Put More into Micro Businesses; PS1M AVAILABLE TO GET SOCIAL ENTERPRISES OFF THE GROUND


Byline: SION BARRY Business Editor sion.barry@walesonline.co.uk

FINANCE Wales is looking to ramp up its longstanding strategy of investing in microbusinesses.

Supplementing existing funding under its PS150m Jeremie Fund for investing in small business employing fewer than 10 people, it last year received additional fire power to back the sector with PS6m from the Welsh Government for its Wales Micro-business Loan Fund.

Of that PS1m is being managed on Finance Wales' behalf to provide repayable finance to social enterprises by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

Increased funding for microbusinesses was one of the recommendations of a task and finish group set up by the Welsh Government to look at support to the sector.

Combined with existing funding to small businesses and the new fund, which went live last summer Finance Wales said that in its financial year to date 62 businesses had benefited from micro loans totalling PS844,000.

The fund can loan up to PS25,000.

With the benefit of a full year from the fund, lending from Finance Wales for micro-businesses is expected to increase significantly in 2013-14 - having doubled this year on last.

Business Minister Edwina Hart said: "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 create jobs."

New investments fund manager with Finance Wales, Mike Owen, said: "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.

Businesses benefiting from Finance Wales' micro loans include: | Bryn Tanat Hall, a boutique hotel in Powys, has used a PS20,000 micro loan to install a new wood pellet boiler which will be cheaper to run; | A PS25,000 micro loan has enabled Bridgend-based industrial electronic equipment repairer, Kontroltek to purchase new test rigs so that it can take on new contracts; and | The new owners of Carmarthen's Teifi Mania indoor play centre have combined a PS25,000 micro loan with bank finance to create a special toddlers' area. …

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