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Profile Winter 2007 Newsletter

Smith Craven Chartered Accountants: an intermediaries view

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Pictured: Kelvin Fitton, Howard Mee and Andy Cribb from Smith Craven’s Sheffield office.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF) works closely with a wide range of accountants and business advisers, one of them is Smith Craven Chartered Accountants.

Smith Craven is a well established firm within South Yorkshire. Its base is in Doncaster with offices also in Sheffield and Rotherham. The firm and its partners have worked closely with SYIF since its inception, which has resulted in a number of the firms clients receiving investment by the Fund.

Smith Craven's Sheffield office has recently been strengthened by the appointment of Howard Mee FCA, who has been brought on board to develop the city client base as well as to bring Corporate Finance expertise to the firm.

Howard has also been involved with SYIF on a regular basis. He said: "There are many instances where businesses need to consider their funding requirements, such cases may include looking at an acquisition or restructuring the company ownership with an MBO or MBI.

"It may be to provide finance for a capital project or simply enabling the business to develop its growth with additional working capital. In all cases I would recommend that the business would consider the products that are being offered by SYIF with a view to them being part of a larger package of funding.

"When working with our clients on such projects it is essential to involve SYIF at an early stage so that we can ensure the eligibility of the company to receive SYIF funding. Once the Investments Managers have confirmed the Fund's interest in the project it will then be necessary to build the complete business case. As a result of this early introduction, SYIF may be able to contribute towards the fees that are to be incurred in the business planning stage."

SYIF can offer a wide range of investment packages, from business loans to equity linked deals and Seedcorn finance. Business Loans are typically unsecured ranging from £15,000 to £150,000, with loans over £50k only being applicable to profitable established businesses. Joint equity linked investment packages are available as either straight equity investments or mezzanine loans which means that SYIF can invest up to £2.5 million.

There are also several other products that the Fund can offer, for example, as part of the Money with Management Scheme the Fund can assist the company by reducing the cost of lending with an interest rebate or it can help with the cost of certain key external services from which the company will benefit.

Smith Craven has completed several deals where funds have been introduced by SYIF ranging from £15,000 to £75,000. The companies have received an interest rebate through the Money with Management scheme which have reduced the cost of lending considerably to an effective annual interest rate of 3.6%.

The level of interest rebate does vary according to the level of debt taken by the company.

Howard added: "Clearly SYIF are well placed to help both emerging and established businesses and they have always shown support to Smith Craven with our intent to help businesses grow in the region. It is certainly refreshing to know that when considering the investment needs of a client, SYIF is both willing and capable of making the difference."

If you would like to find out more about how Smith Craven can help you with your business, then please call or e-mail Howard Mee on 0114 2723838 or at howard.mee@smithcraven.co.uk

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).