Greater Manchester Loan Fund invests a total of £10 million to date
Leading source of alternative funding for SMEs in Greater Manchester is still open for investment with a further £10 million available
The Greater Manchester Loan Fund (GMLF) is celebrating its 3rd anniversary, having already invested over £10 million in 22 local businesses, and urges other ambitious small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from across the region to take advantage of the millions of pounds still available to help fund their growth.
The GMLF has the potential to invest up to a further £10 million, through loans of between £100,000 and £750,000 to eligible businesses. Andy Thomas, Investment Director at Maven, the Fund Manager for the GMLF, is keen to remind SMEs that alternative funding solutions are out there.
“The GMLF is very much open for business and we’ve been hugely encouraged by the levels of interest in the fund. We’ve seen a wide cross-section of businesses by sector and funding requirement, with applications from relatively mature businesses through to younger companies operating in expanding markets. Businesses and advisors should be assured that options for flexible growth-based loans are still available.”
“The GMLF provides flexible loan finance and we have seen high levels of activity and enquiries in our Fund in recent months which we believe may be due to the number of similar options in the market narrowing. However I’m convinced there are many more innovative and ambitious companies in the region currently looking at their growth strategies which could benefit from our loan finance.”
Launched in August 2013 by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the Fund was established to provide flexible finance solutions to businesses throughout the region in order to encourage growth while creating and safeguarding jobs.
Councillor Kieran Quinn, lead member for Investment and Finance on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, stressed the importance of the joint working between public sector partners that supported this fund to be the success that it is:
“This fund sets Greater Manchester apart from other regions in the eyes of those looking to invest and grow their businesses in the area. The strength of the partnership and co-operation between local authorities here is arguably unlike anything anywhere else in the Country. It’s the ten local Council’s relentless drive for equitable growth across the conurbation that brought us together, led to the creation of this fund and resulted in such significant investment in local businesses and the job creation associated with that.”
Finance for the GMLF has been provided solely by the GMCA, and will not be affected by the recent Brexit vote. It forms part of the Greater Manchester Investment Fund which includes substantial equity and property funds which will not be affected in anyway by Brexit. This is a pertinent point Andy Thomas is eager to highlight:
“There is currently some uncertainty in the market following the UK’s decision to leave the EU and this includes a few misperceptions around alternative forms of finance underpinned by EU funding. This is not the case for the GMLF and we are looking forward to supporting even more dynamic businesses and helping them fulfil their growth potential. We have significant funds available to lend to SMEs across the Greater Manchester area. We are committed to raising awareness amongst entrepreneurs that these funds exist and can enable a company to achieve its growth plans quicker than relying on self-funding or more traditional forms of finance.”