Share offer attracts major investment weeks after launch

A community share offer has attracted nearly £150,000 of investment just weeks after its launch.

The scheme is being run by ART Business Loans and has already attracted investment from a number of senior figures from the region’s business community, acting in a personal capacity.

Nick Venning, chair of ART Business Loans, said: “This is an opportunity to make a social investment and make a financial return.

“These shares qualify for Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR) and HMRC will grant investors 5% per annum net of tax.”

ART Business Loans is a Birmingham-based lender which supports small businesses and social enterprises – such as KPM Marine, Reynolds Technology and Change Kitchen – that had been unable to access bank funding.

It was originally set up more than 20 years ago backed by philanthropist Sir Adrian Cadbury and has since lent more than £25m to 1,300 businesses in the West Midlands.

ART chief executive Steve Walker said: “We have lent £2.5m this year and we have got £2.9m to lend next year.

“Our plan was always to do more and that’s what the share offer is all about.

“We only lend to business that can’t get bank support and where there is a social and economic purpose.”

The share offer is being run on the ETHEX platform with investors able to put in from £500 to £100,000. The share offer closes on March 24.