A 18and Century Inn, a Spanish tapas bar and an African food store are just some of 73 Welsh businesses that have accessed over £1.3million in fast-track micro-loans from the Welsh Development Bank of Wales in the year to date (April to December 2021)
Small businesses, sole traders and social enterprises who have been trading in Wales for more than two years can apply for a fast-track micro loan of up to £25,000 from the Development Bank of Wales. Decisions on eligible customer loans can be made within two business days.
The £1.32m figure represents an increase of more than 30% on the same period in 2020, when accelerated loans totaled £986,000, demonstrating small businesses’ appetite for growth capital at investing as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. .
A fast-track loan of £25,000 has helped Carmarthen-based Cutting Edge Mechanics take advantage of new dealership opportunities with the purchase of stock and a trailer. Founded in 2016 by owner Alun James, the company is an independent dealer and repairer of specialist arboriculture and gardening equipment.
Alun said: “The opportunity arose to take on a new dealership. It was a great decision for us, but we had to invest in new stock and a trailer in order to take advantage of this opportunity. £25,000 is a lot of money to come up with as a small business, so getting a quick decision on a loan from the Development Bank of Wales was just what we needed. It was a simple and straightforward process which meant I could place the order with the dealers and quickly agree on the purchase of a new trailer. The excellent service has enabled us to prepare for the new season and we are now looking forward to developing the business further. »
Ele’s Little Kitchen is a catering company based in Gorseinon offering traditional Spanish cuisine. Led by Elena Pardo, originally from Murcia, the company was first created from home to organize parties, professional events and weddings. An accelerated loan of £8,000 from the Development Bank enabled Elena to move into new restaurant premises on the High Street, Gorseinon. The popular tapas bar now offers take-out and delivery.
Elena said: “I am passionate about cooking and I love Mediterranean cuisine. Our secret is based on traditional Spanish flavors with a modern twist and it’s so good to now have our own little tapas bar here in Gorseinon. It is truly a dream come true thanks to the support of the Development Bank.
SunBim Foods African food store is based in the heart of Newport. Owner Sunday Omuju sells a wide variety of African food products, some of which are now made locally after securing a £12,000 accelerated loan from the Development Bank, which was used to buy an industrial oven so customers can now enjoy freshly cooked products. .
Sunday said: “Our family business is going from strength to strength as we invest in our products and the range of fresh foods we can offer our customers. Access to finance was very important for us because we could not invest in the business without the support of the Development Bank. We are also very grateful for making the application process so easy and quick. It made a huge difference.
Elain Molloy and Peter Maull own Tafarn y Waen, an 18and century inn near St Asaph. A £20,000 fast-track loan from the Development Bank has been used to help diversify income by turning the popular but remote pub into a boutique guesthouse with hot tubs. A small caravan site has also been created.
Elaine said: “We would never have survived the past 18 months let alone thinking about future growth and success if it weren’t for the loan from the Development Bank. The money allowed us to diversify and sustain the activity by investing in our homes. We have created an attractive destination that will ensure the long-term survival of Tafarn y Waen as a historic rural settlement.
Nicola Edwards of the Development Bank of Wales said: “Providing much needed community and social support, our accelerated loans are certainly making a big difference to small businesses and traders across Wales, with many telling us that they really appreciate the simplicity and efficiency of our application process and the speed with which funds are received. »
“Now more than ever, businesses need quick and easy access to sustainable and flexible financing to help them invest in the future. Those in the restaurant and hotel industry have had a particularly difficult time over the past two years as many traders seek funding to help their recovery and growth. It’s a testament to the dedication and future ambition of business owners across all sectors in Wales that so many have come forward to get the funding they need to invest in their businesses, expand and accelerate growth. .
The £30m Wales Micro Loan Fund is fully funded by the Welsh Government. Loans between £1,000 and £50,000 are available with repayment terms ranging from one to ten years.