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South Yorkshire Microloan Boosting Small Business

Published: 18th December 2003

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Partners at RA Imaging Richard Browning and Andrew Lynch with SYML Loan Officer Stan Wilson

Small businesses in the region continue to benefit from loans from South Yorkshire Microloan.

Microloans are aimed at small businesses that are unable to raise sufficient (or any) finance from commercial sources, loans of £1k to £15k are available for existing businesses and up to £10k for start ups. Applicants with a poor credit history or County Court Judgements are considered.

Administered and co-ordinated by South Yorkshire Investment Fund, the fund is a partnership of the local Enterprise Agencies in Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield and Doncaster Chamber of Commerce.

The latest businesses to benefit from the Microloan include RA Imagining, Tubal Cain and Cashvend UK Ltd.

RA Imaging, based in Doncaster is a commercial and social photographer owned and operated by partners Richard Browning and Andrew Lynch.

They took out a £10k Microloan to set up their business in Silver Street – the cash was used to refurbish the premises, purchase photographic equipment and signage.

Andrew and Richard, experienced photographers who have worked for Saatchi and Saatchi, Next, M & S and many others in the past, already employ four people and are looking to expand in the near future.

Andrew said: "The Microloan scheme is ideal for people wanting to start up their own business – for us it was the key to our new state-of-the-art studio and the loan is already beginning to pay off."

Tubal Cain started trading in June 2003, designing and supplying specialist tools and equipment to field-archaeologists across the UK. Archaeology is one of the fastest growing disciplines in academia, and as an interest, has crossed over to mainstream TV.

Based at the Sheffield Technology Park, the company is headed by Managing Director Nick Oodian who is supported by Sales Manager James Light.

The company supports the needs of archaeologists and earth scientists working in the field –supplying high quality brand-name tools and equipment, as well as new and innovative products to aid the excavation and recording process.

Nick said: "South Yorkshire Microloan offered a friendly, relaxed open service – without their assistance we would have found it difficult to secure funding from conventional outlets like high-street banks. Microloan enabled us to start the ball rolling earlier than envisaged".

The loan was used for start-up costs including web design, researching new products and working capital.

Another company to receive a £10k boost is Cashvend UK Ltd, Based in Barnsley and operated by Andrew Peace, the company distributes ATM cash machines throughout the UK.

SYML Loan Officers Stan Wilson and Fiona Greaves, said: "These are just the kind of projects the Microloan has been designed to help. We want to hear from new and existing small businesses who have found it difficult to obtain finance."

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).