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expert voice WORDS Richie Coulson, senior business development manager, Lloyds TSB Commercial

grow UP Recent national and international events have shown that UK businesses remain susceptible to wider economic trends, and this can lead to a lack of confidence among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) about growing their business and securing finance to do so. A key part of restoring business confidence is providing access to finance, which plays a crucial role for firms looking at their future needs. Investing is essential in order to capitalise on expansion opportunities and enable growth, and so UK companies must not be put off by perceived barriers, which they believe may prevent them securing funding. Funding businesses is important not only to support local enterprise but also to stimulate and contribute to economic growth. Lloyds TSB Commercial offer a range of

Securing finance to build your business may be closer than you’d thought

complementary funding packages, from day-to-day banking to loan and overdraft facilities, as well as asset-based finance, through Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance. Other funding options are also available, which may be suited to small businesses. The government-backed Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme, for example, is an ideal funding option for firms who have a viable business proposal, but lack the security to secure conventional funding. Another option for SMEs is European Investment Bank (EIB) loans, which can enable firms with fewer than 250 employees to benefit from lower interest rates and to finance 100% of an individual company’s investment costs, up to a maximum of £11 million per project. Over the last three years the EIB has provided low-cost long-term loans totalling £2.3 billion to more than 7,500 small British

businesses, and last autumn Lloyds TSB secured a new £150 million tranche of EIB funding. Additionally, through the government’s recently announced National Loan Guarantee Scheme (NLGS), we will be able to offer our customers a reduction in the cost of finance of around 1% less than average interest rates, which we hope will help cash flow and cut overheads for small firms. The NLGS was designed to boost demand and encourage investment, which is vital to the economic recovery, and it enables us to offer a range of discounts on new term loans, leasing arrangements and hire purchase from £25,000 to £1m. It’s worth discussing the range of lending available with your bank, as some products are particularly well suited to particular business sectors. In recent years, demand for asset-based finance has grown in popularity and is seen by

many companies and lenders as an increasingly mainstream form of funding. It can be used either alone or in combination with other loans or overdrafts to structure innovative and creative lending packages that can free up working capital to fund further growth. One of the advantages of asset-based finance for sectors like manufacturing and engineering is that it can be used to release the value of assets such as machinery. Similarly, many businesses could find that invoice finance facilities, which leverage the value of invoices, can provide additional headroom and improve their cash flow from month to month.

Challenging perceptions While ongoing economic problems such as the euro crisis affect confidence across the UK, our latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey in February

Tech City Magazine  

Tech City Magazine is the first publication for the Tech City area of London. The magazine is a business / lifestyle publication promoting...

Tech City Magazine  

Tech City Magazine is the first publication for the Tech City area of London. The magazine is a business / lifestyle publication promoting...