Stephen Waud, chief executive at BEF
Chloe Shakesby

Multi-million funding package to support more than 150 Yorkshire and North East businesses

A multi-million pound funding package from a Northern bank is enabling a not-for-profit social enterprise to support more than 150 businesses.

The Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) has secured a £7.5m loan from Unity Trust Bank to help SMEs in York and across the North East.

The finance for BEF, founded in Bradford, will be used to provide average loan sizes of £45k to SMEs.

Stephen Waud, chief executive at BEF, commented: “The coronavirus outbreak presents unprecedented challenges to public health and SME businesses.

“We appreciate that business owners may be concerned about the impact on their businesses and would like to work with them through these unsettling circumstances.

“It’s times like this when our mission to support businesses and the communities they serve counts the most.

“We have been a customer of Unity Trust Bank for seven years and their support has always been invaluable, but now more so than ever. This funding package will make a real difference to business owners at this difficult time.”

Jason James, relationship manager at Unity Trust Bank, said: “Our vision is to help create a better society by working with a range of organisations that share our values.

“We support responsible finance lenders like BEF so they can deliver responsible, affordable lending to help small businesses which struggle to access finance from mainstream providers.

“As social enterprises they re-invest profits to deliver economic and social benefits to the communities they serve.

“These are unprecedented times and we are pleased that this significant funding package will help BEF to support the government’s CBILS programme.”

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