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Fund continues to show faith in small businesses

Published: 29th January 2003

South Yorkshire Investment Fund has backed two more small businesses with loans totalling £35,000.

The first to benefit is Knight Engineering of Sheffield, a new business owned and operated by Derek Whittaker. The business is situated at Attercliffe in Sheffield and will be producing hydraulic chain cutting equipment for the mining industry abroad and parts for British Aerospace and Rolls-Royce.

Mr Whittaker, who started his career as an apprentice toolmaker for Morbro Tools in Sheffield, hopes to employ four full-time staff by the end of the year.

He said: "The money from the Fund was crucial to setting up the business. This type of business needs a range of machines in order to offer a competitive service and it is very expensive - with the Fund's support we can now compete in the market place."

Sheaf Telecom Ltd of Sheffield is another company to receive a New Year's boost from the Fund. Formed in May 2002 by Managing Director Bob Hayes, the telecommunications company has secured a loan of £15,000 to enable it to concentrate on business development, and to employ a new sales assistant.

Mr Hayes said: "I have 14 years experience in the industry and the loan from the South Yorkshire Investment Fund will help me use my knowledge and experience to expand the company and make it a success."

Sheaf Telecom provides a complete telephone system service to small and medium-sized firms and also offers value-added services such as voice mail and call management.

Currently employing three members of staff it is hoped this figure will more than double within a year with a move to new premises also likely.

Tony Goulbourn, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd, said: "We are always looking to help small businesses start up and expand into progressive modern companies. One of the aims of the Fund is to improve employment prospects and to bring greater prosperity to South Yorkshire - promoting small and medium sized firms will help in this endeavour."

The Fund provides development and risk capital ranging from £15k to £1m to businesses in, or prepared to relocate to, South Yorkshire.

It offers two key products, one of which is loans ranging from £15k to £150k with effective annual interest rates from as little as three per cent per annum.

The second product is an equity-linked package, ranging from £50k to £1m where the Fund takes a minority stake in the business.

The equity-linked package, with its competitive fees, is designed for new or existing businesses with potential for rapid expansion. Investments can be made as a mix of ordinary and preference shares or subordinated loan stock.

A unique feature of the way the Fund can help businesses is the Mentorbank project, which provides subsidised mentoring support to help management teams grow the business more profitable.

The Fund's products are designed to support businesses through critical stages of growth. From start through to major expansion, the fund can provide financial support. If a business is looking to start up, invest in new technology or equipment, enter new markets or locate into South Yorkshire it should call South Yorkshire Investment Fund first.


Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).