Facebook - Birmingham Business Twitter - Birmingham Business Instagram - Birmingham Business
https://www.birminghamairport.co.uk https://www.lokiwine.co.uk

Funding brings support for SMEs

A six-figure funding package from Unity Trust Bank will help to support small businesses in the West Midlands who are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commercial bank with a social conscience has agreed a loan of £900,000 for Birmingham-based ART Share which trades as ART Business Loans (ART) – a Community Development Finance Institution and accredited provider of the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

CBILS provides financial support to SMEs that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, and this loan will be used to support existing ART clients who have been affected.

Dr Steve Walker, chief executive of ART, said: “We have a client base of 250 businesses and social enterprises. Most have been affected by the current situation - from facing the threat of closure to being inundated with demand for products.

“Thanks to this funding from Unity Trust Bank, we are hoping to support more than 25 businesses across a wide range of sectors in under-served areas and communities which have been declined financial help from other banks. We have had a long-standing relationship with Unity Trust Bank and they have supported our growth and provided invaluable support over the years. This loan will make a big difference to businesses during these unprecedented times.”

ART was established in 1997 to ‘alleviate poverty through enterprise’ by lending to businesses unable to access the finance they needed from banks and so enable them to create or preserve jobs.

Since 2005, Unity Trust Bank has provided ART Share with several funding packages totaling more than £13.2m.

Jason James, relationship manager at Unity Trust Bank said: “We help to create a better society by working with a range of organisations that share our values. We support CDFIs like ART so they can deliver responsible, affordable lending to help small businesses which struggle to access finance from mainstream providers.

“These are difficult times for a lot of businesses, and we are pleased that this latest funding package will help ART to support the Government’s CBILS programme.”

Unity Trust Bank aligns its operations and practices to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – a globally recognised framework for achieving a better and more sustainable future. Many of the goals will be enabled and supported through a focus on financial inclusion.

ART lends alone, or alongside banks and other financiers, and can signpost clients to independent Business Finance specialists for advice, if required. Originally set up in Aston, ART was a pioneer CDFI. Its model – raising finance from member investors and from the public and private sectors to lend to businesses in a specific area – has since been replicated around the UK.

Since its launch, ART has lent more than £30m to 1,450 borrowers enabling them to create or protect in excess of 8,000 jobs.

Pictured: Dr Steve Walker - chief executive of ART

Top of the agenda

Access to finance is key issue to resolve

3rd July 2020

Wholesaler secures funding boost

Cash will help with cashflow and create three new jobs

20th October 2020

Surgical supplier secures vital funding

Barclays supports business as part of Coronavirus initiative

14th May 2020

Flexible financing

Backing SMEs during the most challenging times

26th June 2020

New loan fund unlocks £40 million

Small businesses across the Midlands will benefit

28th January 2020

Boosting business in the region

Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) improves access to finance

23rd June 2020

Unity Trust Bank takes prestigious award

Finance brokers celebrate industry excellence with online event

1st December 2020

Loan provider seeks increased backing

Growing demand leads to request for injection of funds

23rd January 2020

Travel agency receives vital funding

Barclays steps in with crucial support and advice

3rd June 2020

SMEs receive helping hand to bounce back

WMCA and partners host free webinar on advice and grants

28th June 2021

Investment fund makes immediate impact

Over £64m invested in businesses in the Midlands

20th May 2020

New regional director is appointed

Unity Trust Bank welcomes new face to its Midlands team

11th May 2020

Data shows reliance on Covid support

One in ten Midlands workers were furloughed

8th December 2020

SME manufacturers call for urgent financial support

Survey reveals sales and production volumes set to fall

4th May 2020

New £100m debt fund launched

Support on offer for SMEs that need flexible funding

29th October 2020