COMPANIES struggling to get access to finance have been urged to find out more about a new £1.5m loan fund.
West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency, a subsidiary of the Lockwood-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, is operating the fund to help start-up and established businesses which have been unable to get funding through the usual channels.
Steven Leigh, head of policy and research at the chamber, said: “There have been widespread reports from businesses up and down the country that difficulties continue to be experienced with raising finance.”
Mr Leigh said some companies had faced problems maintaining levels of debt finance as banks sought to reduce levels of debt exposure or refused to increase overdraft facilities.
Firms complained of rising costs of set-up fees for renegotiated facilities or were under pressure to change the balance of finance away from overdrafts towards “the more expensive mechanism” of invoice finance.
Mr Leigh said: “The new £1m fund will seek to address some of these difficulties in our local communities.”
Chamber director Andrew Choi said companies across Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield may be able to access the new fund, which has been provided through WYEA’s own reserves, the European Regional Development Fund and other finance initiatives in the region.
He also appealed for companies to spread the word about the fund to their customers.
“As publicly-funded business support winds down, we are keen to make sure local businesses are still able to access the support they need quickly and easily,” said Mr Choi.
Information sessions on the loan fund will be held at 8am on Wednesday, June 8, at the Cedar Court Hotel, Wakefield; and at 5.30pm on Thursday, June 9, at the Cedar Court Hotel, Ainley Top, Huddersfield.