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Lichfield and Burntwood firms to benefit from new £1million fund

HandshakeA new £1million fund could benefit small businesses in Lichfield and Burntwood.

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet are backing the plan to provide loans to companies who are unable to fund their good ideas.

The county has got together with the Black Country Reinvestment Society (BCRS) to create the Staffordshire Business Support Fund.

Staffordshire County Council will provide £500,000 of funding which will be matched by European Regional Development Fund money provided by Advantage West Midlands.

From November BCRS will be able provide loans to small businesses of £10,000 to £25,000 which will be repayable over a four year period.

Companies will have to be based in Staffordshire, employ less than 50 employees, and have been turned down by the conventional banks.

Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Enterprise, Mike Lawrence, said the initiative was central to the drive to support Staffordshire businesses, the economy and jobs. He explained:

“Access to money is a real issue for small businesses. We want to help address this problem. This is about extending support to those who are already running a sound business but need working capital in this time of tight finance.

“Businesses will have to have a compelling business case and a sound business plan. This is all about providing Staffordshire’s business talent with the support it needs in a time of austerity. It’s a cash injection that will pay for itself and double its value for the people of Staffordshire with match funding.

“And as the companies succeed and pay back their loans, a proportion of the money can be recycled again to generate more success and new jobs. This is about making the tax payers money continue to work hard to benefit the economy.”

Paul Kalinauckas, chief executive of BCRS added:

“We are delighted to extend our area of lending throughout Staffordshire with the support of the county council. The credit crunch has hit small businesses hard especially with cash flow. A local loan will enable us to step in with loans where the banks can?t help. We aim to give a speedy response through our online application facility at”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.