Double delight for finance provider
A Bradford-based fund is aiming to double the number of loans it provides to businesses this year.
The Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) said it planned to increase lending to £4m and provide 200 corporate loans in 2013 after seeing 75% growth last year.
The organisation has also opened a second office in Leeds and taken on two new investment managers, John Hall and Hilary Watson, to cope with the increased workload.
BEF provides finance for firms that struggle to get loans from mainstream providers such as banks. More than 100,000 businesses are unable to source finance from the banks, according to recent research from GHK.
The finance hub of Leeds is a potentially lucrative market for BEF, which has attracted £10m investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
BEF fund director Stephen Waud said: “[The Leeds office] is a really positive move for us and an ideal step for us to reach out to more businesses across the county and provide them
with the crucial help and assistance they need to grow.
“We facilitated more than 100 loans in 2012 and we want to double that this year and lend £4m to boost businesses with the support they need.
“Without BEF, some of these businesses would stand still at best or could face folding completely, which would hurt the already fragile economy in the region.”