Mercia Asset Management PLC (‘Mercia’) and FW Capital, two providers of debt finance for the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), have been accredited for the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
The Fund Managers can now use NPIF funding with Government-backed guarantees ranging between £100,000 and £750,000 to businesses that have been adversely affected by the impact of COVID-19. Mercia will focus on providing support to businesses based in Yorkshire and the Humber, whilst FW Capital will focus on the North West, Cumbria and Tees Valley regions.
Following their approval, each lender will be putting in place the operations required to start lending under the scheme and will confirm shortly the dates from which they will be ready to start receiving CBILS applications from smaller businesses across their respective regions.
These additions now mean that six NPIF lenders are able to provide CBILS backed loans, with all four Microfinance fund managers already accredited. The Microfinance lenders are supporting smaller scale businesses, with CBILS loans ranging from £50,001 and £100,000. These include GC Business Finance (Greater Manchester, Cumbria, Lancashire and Cheshire); MSIF (Liverpool City Region); BEF (Leeds City Region, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding and Tees Valley); and Finance For Enterprise (Sheffield City Region and Humber).
NPIF provides a mix of debt, equity and microfinance up to £2m, and since its launch in February 2017, it has invested over £162m into 601 businesses with an additional £167m leveraged from the private sector.
Grant Peggie, Director at British Business Bank, said: “Both Mercia and FW Capital have shown their support for the North’s ambitious businesses since the launch of NPIF and now their accreditation to use CBILS is testament to their commitment to support businesses through the crisis. We have seen unprecedented levels of demand for external finance, and we are pleased that these two experienced fund managers are now able to use CBILS accreditation to support NPIF funding and will continue to provide invaluable support to small businesses when they need it most.”
Paul Taberner, Head of Mercia’s NPIF Debt Finance, said: “Mercia has been lending to ambitious small businesses in the North of England for more than 30 years. Our teams have invested through several economic cycles and are therefore familiar with the complex cashflow demands that arise during times of financial crisis. We are already working through applications from our portfolio and expect to open up applications to new businesses within a few weeks. We are delighted to be able to provide a supportive scheme such as CBILS in conjunction with NPIF and BBB and are confident that we can continue to support regional SMEs when they need it most.”
FW Capital Fund Director’s, Joanne Whitfield and Gary Guest said: “We are committed to supporting SMEs and this accreditation allows us to help many more businesses across the North West, Cumbria and Tees Valley regions, safeguarding businesses and jobs at this challenging time. We look forward to working with management teams keen to take advantage of the scheme and to help them prepare for growth and expansion when the recovery comes. This accreditation is testament to our excellent relationship with the British Business Bank and it’s ongoing belief in the capability and dedication of the FW Capital team.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.