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Just over a year since making its first loan from The North West
Fund for Business Loans, FW Capital has lent over £6.5 million to
42 established businesses in the North West. FW Capital's
backing has enabled these businesses to focus on their long-term
growth plans and some have already received further loans.
FW Capital fund manager, Gary Guest is delighted that demand for
loans from the £35 million fund is keeping his nine-strong team in
the North West busy.
"With all eyes on SMEs to drive the UK's economic recovery,
we're delighted to have lent over £6.5 million so far. We've
seen some high-quality business plans and I'm pleased there are
even more in the pipeline. Added to this, it's great to see
demand coming from a wide range of sectors, including
manufacturing, engineering and business services," Guest
FW Capital can lend between £50,000 and £250,000 at a time and
can make additional loans to businesses as they expand.
The North West Fund for Business Loans is a sub-fund of the
£185m evergreen North West Fund that is jointly financed by the
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European
Investment Bank (EIB).
"It's encouraging to meet so many management teams determined to
succeed despite what the current economic climate is throwing at
them. They're thinking long-term, focusing on their customers
and actively looking for opportunities to expand," Guest
Since setting up in the North West, the FW Capital team has
focused on building relationships with banks and advisers in
Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and
Guest is convinced that a flexible, collaborative approach has
worked well: "Many businesses have been pleasantly surprised that
we've been able to work with their bank to come up with the right
deal for them. The North West Fund for Business Loans'
lending criteria means we look at deals differently and can
consider cash flow-based loans. We don't just accept or
reject on the basis of available security."
FW Capital is working with banks and SMEs on a wide range of
funding requirements, such as: stock purchases; capital expenditure
to fulfill new orders; purchasing owner-occupied premises as well
as helping banks with LTV constraints.
Earlier this year, the established Crewe-based company, SG World
secured a £250,000 loan to complete a £5million loan and working
capital package led by Lloyds TSB Commercial.
"Our £250,000 loan turned out to be an important final part of
the lending package for this prominent North West
business. Working with Lloyds TSB Commercial to complete the
loan quickly is another example of how we're working with banks and
other funders to make sure our loans are making a difference to a
range of growing businesses in the North West." Explained
Other examples of our loans include:
According to Guest, a local approach has also played a crucial
role in lending the £6.5 million: "Being locally based means we can
get to know businesses and demonstrate our on-going commitment to
their success. Once we've made our initial loan, we can
be there to support them with further loans as they grow."
Andy Leach, chief executive of North West Business Finance, the
not-for-profit company set up to deliver The North West Fund said:
"I'm delighted with the impact that The North West Fund for
Business Loans is having in supporting North West SMEs for whom
traditional bank funding is not currently available, either at all
or to the extent required, to fund their growth plans. FW
Capital is doing an excellent job in working with the banks and the
established debt funders to ensure that their customers can raise
critical funding for growth at the point in the economic cycle
where SMEs are rightly considered to be the engine for our future
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