Bank launches £900m funding spree for SMEs in the NW

HSBC has today (Friday, June 16) launched a £900m lending fund to support SMEs in the North West.

The move is of a broader commitment to help British business realises their growth ambitions, the bank says.

The fund is part of a wider £10bn fund for SMEs across the UK which has also been launched today.

HSBC continues to be open to lending, having approved 91% of small business lending applications in the last year.

Mike Hemmingway, HSBC’s regional director for the North, said: “The launch of this fund reaffirms our commitment to support the growth of North West SMEs of all sizes, from start-ups to established businesses.

“We have so many ambitious businesses in our region who are keen to grow locally, nationally and internationally. This fund is all about helping those businesses make investments that will enable them to achieve their goals while stimulating our local economy and creating jobs.”

A major focus of this year’s fund is to encourage small businesses to feel confident about exploring opportunities for export. A 2016 FSB Report noted that one-in-five (21%) small businesses currently export, but there is potential to double this figure with the right support.

Amanda Murphy, head of commercial banking at HSBC UK, added: “SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy, and for many there is an opportunity and appetite to grow their business through exporting.

“HSBC can provide access to new trading networks for businesses of all sizes, help them to understand how they can consider exporting with confidence, and has the expertise to help businesses navigate change by being responsive, flexible and nimble.”

Preston-based manufacturer Beech’s Fine Chocolates was one of many North West firms to benefit from last year’s SME Fund.

Beech’s, which has been making quality traditional British chocolates since 1920, secured a six-figure finance package from HSBC to grow its workforce, enabling the firm to relaunch and expand its product range and to grow its business in the UK and internationally.

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