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South Yorkshire Microloan boosting small businesses

Published: 22nd April 2004

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From left Salfordthomas partners Steve Treanor and Rob Marshall with SYML Loan Officer Fiona Greaves.

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 Salfordthomas Design, Booler's Bio Fuel and Nick Buxton Skip Hire.

Salfordthomas Design of Barnsley provides multimedia services - including 3-D design, animation and post production.

Set up in November 2002 by graduates Rob Marshall and Steve Treanor, the business has now been joined by new partner Steve Cheetham. The experienced trio have taken out a £10,000 Microloan.

The cash has been used to take on a new trainee who specialises in programming as well as for further product development and marketing.

Mr Treanor said: "The Microloan has proved vital to the stability of the business. We are still a fairly new company and we found raising cash from traditional sources quite difficult. I would recommend the scheme to other businesses without hesitation."

Booler's Bio Fuel was set up by Richard Booler. The company produces bio-fuel - which can be used in place of, or as well as, traditional diesel, with no alteration to the vehicle or fuel system. The fuel, made out of vegetable oil, is cleaner and much better for both the engine and environment.

Richard, a former railway worker, said: "I have borrowed £6,000 through the scheme, and without South Yorkshire Microloan my idea would have never seen the light of day. I tried to get funding from other sources but was turned down.

"For anyone who has a good business idea - but can't get funding, this scheme is fantastic and I would certainly recommend it."

And NT Skip Hire was set up at the beginning of the year by former council worker Nick Buxton and his partner Tracey Mather, after the business received a loan of £10,000 from Microloan.

This was used to purchase a lorry, ten skips, protective clothing and to provide an advertising budget.

Nick said: "I had the idea but couldn't get the money from the bank to set it in motion. When I spoke to Microloan they gave me some sound advice and importantly had the confidence in our business plan to lend the cash.

"Without Microloan the business would never have come to fruition."

SYML Loan Officers, Stan Wilson and Fiona Greaves, said: "These businesses have only got of the ground because of Microloan - it is these kinds 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).