FLEDGLING Hucknall businesses looking to get off the ground or existing firms going for growth could benefit from a new micro-loan fund.
Nottinghamshire County Council has provided £20,000 towards the micro loan scheme – but more investment by other organisations is still needed.
The scheme offers financial support and business mentoring to people with a good business idea who are unable to secure finance in more traditional ways like banks.
Loans are available from £500 up to £10,000 for start up businesses, and up to £20,000 for more established businesses with a good financial track record.
Applicants are assessed by a panel of experts with a thorough knowledge of the local business environment and the opportunities available.
This localised approach to lending focuses less on risk, allowing more scope for enterprise and entrepreneurship to boost the local economy.
Similar schemes have proved to be very successful, with less than half the usual default rate on loans.
Coun Keith Girling, chairman of the Economic Development Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “We recognise that the bright business ideas of today can translate into the new jobs for Nottinghamshire of tomorrow, which is why we are backing the micro-loan scheme.
“Existing or start-up firms are finding it increasingly difficult to get the support from mainstream lenders, which is strangling the economic growth we need.
“Nottinghamshire County Council already provides comprehensive support to many of our up-and-coming businesses through our innovation centres at Newark, Mansfield and Worksop and we have recently launched enterprise clubs in the county for people looking to get ideas off the ground.”
The scheme is administered by the Nottinghamshire Community Foundation and the Fredericks Foundation.