£40 million available from Regional Growth Fund

With over £40million available to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), micro sized businesses, and social enterprises in England through Regional Growth Fund (RGF), the Community Development Finance Association (CDFA) is calling on East Midlands based businesses to apply to community development finance institutions (CDFIs) to gain access to finance from the Regional Growth Fund.

CDFIs provide vital fair-cost loans to individuals and businesses otherwise unable to secure mainstream finance. In the East Midlands they have so far lent £830,000 from the RGF funding to local small businesses, creating and safeguarding 183 jobs.

CDFI First Enterprise Business Agency in Nottingham has been lending to local businesses including SMEs and micro-enterprises in the East Midlands for 25 years.

After successfully applying for RGF funding through the CDFA, First Enterprise Business Agency has lent £518,000 to East Midlands based businesses and has helped create 17 new jobs and safeguarded a further 36 since February 2014. 

CDFIs across England have more than £40million to lend to local businesses and social enterprises as part of the Government backed RGF scheme. As many SMEs and social enterprises struggle to access high street bank lending, they are being encouraged to apply for alternative finance lending.

With small businesses creating 60 percent of jobs and 50 percent of GDP in the UK, micro enterprises and SMEs are vital to local and regional economies. The funding provided by the alternative finance sector has already secured 2,600 jobs in England, benefitting 699 businesses.

An example of how banks can work together with alternative finance providers, this fund received further contributions of £15million by both The Co-operative Bank and Unity Trust Bank, to match £30million from the Government.

Almost half of loans, by value, are in the West Midlands region, 16 percent are in the North West, with the remainder disbursed throughout the rest of England.

For further information visit www.findingfinance.org.uk.