A new finance scheme to help small businesses to grow has been set up by Warwickshire County Council.
The Small Business Loans Scheme, which is part of the county council’s £3.5m Going for Growth campaign to support local businesses, has been developed with the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Cllr Alan Farnell, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “Small businesses have historically been, and will continue to be, the main driver of economic growth in Warwickshire.
“Having previously owned a small business myself, I know how difficult it can be to thrive in a tough economic climate. Many small businesses have told us that they are still unable to access funding, and that is the main reason why we have invested in this loan scheme.
“We are working to kick start the local economy through our Going for Growth campaign, and this funding is vital to small firms who are trying to expand or develop their business.”
The county council has approved up to £500,000 of funding for the scheme, and DEFRA has earmarked a further £250,000 as part of its contribution to the Warwickshire Rural Growth Network.
An initial £125,000 from each pot is now open for applications. The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership is also investing £250,000 from its Growing Places fund.
The county council and Local Enterprise Partnership are working with Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT) to deliver the first round of funding.
The trust is a “not-for-profit” financial institution which has managed similar loan funding across Coventry and Warwickshire since 2005.
The small business loans are also part of a wider package of activities through the Warwickshire Rural Growth Network designed to support business in rural areas.
The county council is working to develop a string of other initiatives after DEFRA announced a £2.4 million investment for rural Warwickshire last Autumn.
For further information about the criteria and to apply for a loan, contact CWRT on 0845 606 6216.