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Accessing finance through ART


ART Business Loans (ART) is a Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI), offering business loans to those unable to access finance from the banks and an opportunity for those with money to invest to gain a return in the form of both tax relief and a positive impact on the local economy.

As ART enters its 25th year the need for its model of finance, which takes investment from public, corporate and private sources and lends it to small businesses in the Midlands, is as crucial as ever. ART’s mission is to support access to appropriate finance for businesses with viable propositions which do not – for a variety of reasons – meet the lending criterial for other providers. 

As we learn to live with, or move beyond Covid-19, ART is ready and waiting to provide small loans of between £10,000 and £150,000 to assist businesses to survive, recover and grow, and in the process create or preserve jobs.

Over the years ART has lent to a wide range of businesses and sectors. The ART lending team has many years of experience and takes a personal approach, working alongside prospective borrowers and their professional advisors. If ART is not able to help then every effort is made to signpost to other appropriate sources of finance.

Pictured above: The ART Business Loans lending team, from left: Martin Edmonds, Graham Donaldson and Rozna Haque.


ART is accredited to deliver the new Government-supported Recovery Loan Scheme. Under this scheme, loans are provided with the lenders’ funds. Borrowers do, however, remain liable to repay their loans.

The major benefits to borrowers of the Recovery Loan Scheme offered by ART are:

Initial demand for the new loan scheme from viable business cases locally appears to be very strong at ART.

Investment opportunity

ART raises money to lend from a variety of sources, including investment from individuals and organisations which qualify for Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR). CITR provides 5% of the amount invested off an individual’s or company’s tax bill each year for five years – the equivalent of over 9.1% gross to the highest tax payers.

Jamie Broderick, Director of the Impact Investing Institute in the UK, has likened this tax relief to the US New Markets initiative which raises billions to support small businesses in the US. He has also graphically explained recently that it’s one of the best kept secrets in the impact investment world. 

Only CDFIs like ART are able to provide this incentive and although over £10 million has been provided to ART over the years using the tax relief, only modest amounts have been raised from individuals and companies. This is clearly an opportunity to be explored.

ART is able to consider investments of between £5,000 and £100,000 for shares and larger amounts up to £2 million by loan after negotiation.

Details of the investment opportunity to both gain a financial return and achieve real local impact are available on ART’s website: www artbusinessloans.co.uk/invest-in ART/

If you would like to discuss the opportunity, ART’s chief executive, Dr Steve Walker, would be happy to provide more detailed information.  Email steve.walker@artbusinessloans.co.uk

*This advertisement feature appears in the July/August 2021 issue of Birmingham Business


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