One year on from becoming a fully operational Fund under the Scottish Growth Scheme, Business Loans Scotland are delighted to have issued £3,052,675 worth of loans to 48 SMEs across Scotland.
Funded through the Scottish Growth Scheme and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Business Loans Scotland is the Fund Manager for a £7 million loan fund which seeks to invest in new and growing Scottish SMEs.
Ensuring that good, commercially viable proposals do not fail from a lack of access to finance, Business Loans Scotland supports businesses by typically providing up to 50% of the total funding package required.
Evolving from the very successful West of Scotland Loan Fund, the loans from Business Loans Scotland have supported employment throughout Scotland by creating approximately 120 new jobs and have helped aid businesses through their start-up or growth phase within the current economic climate.
Formed in April 1996, the West of Scotland Loan Fund issued loans totalling £38,004,672 to 1,760 Scottish businesses and created more than 7,000 jobs across the region. 20 years on from its inception and incredible success, the decision was made for the Fund to evolve and provide loan finance to businesses across the whole of Scotland and not limit funds to those only based in the West.
Following this, Business Loans Scotland was born and SMEs across Scotland have been able to utilise the loans received to add working capital, purchase or renovate business premises, recruit new employees and increase marketing activity within their businesses to support their start-up or growth ambitions.
One company to successfully secure loans from both the West of Scotland Loan Fund and Business Loans Scotland is Glasgow based video technology company, Odro. Company Director, Bill Scouller highlighted how the loans received over the years from both Funds, which total £140,000, have enabled his business to grow from a sole trader working out of his dining room, to one that is an extremely successful business employing more than 25 members of staff, with this figure set to rise by the end of 2020.
Speaking of the two most recent loans received through Business Loans Scotland, Mr Scouller said:
“The BLS funding has been invaluable in the growth of Odro. The funding has contributed to the creation of new roles within the business and we have grown from 12 staff to 25 by the end of 2019.
In addition, our revenue has grown by over 100% in the past year. Additionally, we have doubled our customer base and now have clients in US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany and New Zealand. It is vital for early start businesses to have access to funding in order to grow the business and maximize the opportunity to create both jobs and grow company revenue.”
Councillor Tony Buchanan, Chair of the previous West of Scotland Loan Fund and currently Chair of Business Loans Scotland added:
“It’s fantastic for us to see how the Fund has evolved over the years and being able to see first-hand the positive impact the loans have had on so many Scottish SMEs has been extremely rewarding. The West of Scotland Loan Fund delivered an excellent form of loan finance to many businesses looking to start-up or grow and so being to build on the success of this and offer loans to businesses across the whole of Scotland now through Business Loans Scotland will support a positive impact on national employment and economic growth. I look forward to the next stage of this journey and to seeing many more Scottish businesses flourish as a result of receiving loan funding through Business Loans Scotland.”
With a challenging economic climate due to the impact of Coronavirus, Business Loans Scotland continue to welcome applications from Scottish SMEs who are looking for loan finance to start-up or grow.
Alternatively, for those businesses directly impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak and looking for funding to survive through these challenging times, Business Loans Scotland would urge these businesses to visit the Government website for more information on the funding support available.
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