Alliance welcomes new Business Loan Fund for small businesses

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Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
Alliance Party South Down spokesperson Councillor Patrick Clarke has welcomed a new £5 million NI Small Business Loan Fund which has been launched by Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster as part of Invest Northern Ireland’s Access to Finance Strategy. The Fund, which will be delivered by Ulster Community Investment plc (UCI), a subsidiary of Ulster Community Investment Trust Ltd (UCIT), will help bridge a gap where other funding options have been exhausted. Speaking to Newry Times, Clarke welcomed the announcement. “At a time when many banks are simply not providing proper start up and lending capital to new and growing SME’s this new small business loan fund will help provide funding when other options have been unsuccessful.” “This new fund will help bridge the gap in funding available to small businesses across all sectors in the start-up and growth phases of development particular to those small businesses that are having difficulty accessing funds from high street banks and lenders.” He added, “I would encourage individuals, and businesses to apply to the Small Business Fund being delivered by Ulster Community Investment plc (UCI) by contacting 028 7776 3555 or logging onto” Loans to recipients will be in the range of £1,000 – £50,000 and will be higher risk in nature, as traditional bank funding will not have been available or will have been fully exhausted. It will sit alongside other funding sources such as own funds, bank funding or credit unions. The loans will typically be unsecured and personal guarantees may be sought. Applicants will need to clearly demonstrate their ability to service the loan repayments. There is a maximum loan amount of £15,000 to start-up enterprises, with potential for follow-on lending up to a maximum of £50,000. Existing businesses can apply for amounts up to £50,000. In addition, there will be mentoring support for borrowers under £15,000. For more information on the NI Small Business Loan Fund, please visit Boosting Business NI website or NI Small Business Loan Fund website
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