£62m investment fund to fuel 800 small businesses

Stephen Deakin, chief executive at BCRS Business Loans with Andrew Hustwit, head of business development

BCRS Business Loans (BCRS) is to invest in businesses looking to grow and boost employment opportunities in the West Midlands and Wales through a fund backed by a mainstream lender.

Lloyds Bank is the first major banking group to back the new £62m Community Investment Enterprise Fund (CIEF) which aims to invest in 800 small businesses nationally and support 10,500 jobs.

BCRS will offer CIEF investment to SMEs across the West Midlands and Wales who are unable to access finance from traditional sources, by providing loans from between £10,000 and £150,000 to support growth and recovery plans.

The new fund for small businesses operating in economically disadvantaged areas, which follows the first phase of CIEF funding, will be managed by Social Investment Scotland (SIS), which has been investing in the social sector since 2001.

Funded by Lloyds Bank, along with social impact investor Big Society Capital (BSC) and contributions from the three participating CDFIs, BCRS Business Loans, Business Enterprise Fund and Finance for Enterprise, the CIEF will provide capital needed by small businesses.

Stephen Deakin, chief executive of BCRS Business Loans said: “The backing of Lloyds Bank is a game changer for business funding in the West Midlands and Wales, offering new opportunities to kickstart economic growth through the CIEF”.

Elyn Corfield, CEO Business and Commercial Banking, Lloyds Bank, said: “We are delighted to support the CDFI sector to back local businesses, with a focus on deprived areas, and ensure they have access to a range of financial options right for them. When local businesses flourish so do local communities and we hope our leadership within this
second phase of CIEF will see many more areas of the UK succeed.”