Specialist social impact lender GC Business Finance has been at the heart of supporting the North West’s SME community during lockdown, providing over £7.8m of funding to over 300 of the region’s companies since March.
Since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, GCBF has responded to unprecedented demand for support from the North West market, following nearly 3,000 applications from SMEs across the region.
GCBF has provided nearly £3.1m in funding backed by the Governments Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme (CBILS). Alongside this, the firm has used its flexible Start-Up Loans product to support companies across the region, with more than £3m being provided since March. GC Business Finance continues to utilise the Rosebud Fund, which it manages on behalf of Lancashire County Council, to provide a further £0.84m to businesses in the county as well as supported businesses across the North West to raise over £0.6m in investment round closes through the beginning of lockdown to date.
Given the significant impact of COVID-19 on revenues, businesses in Digital and Creative sector have been the largest recipient of funding from GC Business Finance, securing more than £1.2m from GCBF since the beginning of the crisis. Behind this, Food and Drink (£0.84m), Manufacturing (£0.56m), and construction (£0.49m) all demonstrated considerable appetite for funding.
GCBF is specifically geared to support businesses that have been unable to access traditional lending streams, enabling businesses to respond to and withstand interruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. In order to evolve the SME market and access to funding, GCBF has designed a digital solution to enable quicker, simpler and easier access to loans.
GC Business Finance continues to work with North West SMEs to provide a range of financial support products as well as wrap around business support services through the wider Growth Company. From its headquarters in Manchester, the firm offers loans from £500 to £300,000 across a variety of funds, including CBILS, as well as equity investment from £25,000 – £2m through their specialist service GC Angels.
Chris Hutchison, head of lending at GC Business Finance, said: “During this challenging time, it was crucial that North West entrepreneurs had access to the financial support they require, both to stabilise in the short term and position their business for future growth. Helping local businesses is something we have built our business on, and we are proud to have been able to support so many SMEs in recent months as well as look forward to continuing to support these businesses going forwards as CBILs comes to a close.
“We recognise, however, that the job is not done. With the banks’ appetite for lending beginning to dip, owners need to know the options that they have at their disposal. We remain open for business and look forward to working closely with more of the region’s ambitious entrepreneurs in the coming months.”