Funding Growing Businesses

Tue 18th Jul 2023

If you’re looking to grow your business and want more information about the financial support available here in Cornwall and Devon, Kirsty Davey, head of the corporate and commercial team at Coodes, is going to be looking at some of the potential funding options over the next few months.

With many EU-funded projects coming to an end this year, there are changes afoot, however it’s important to note that new schemes are being introduced and we want to help you navigate what’s available,

In the future we’ll cover the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund and then later this summer the new South West Investment Fund being launched by British Business Bank – a £200 million pound scheme to support the growth of SMEs across the region.

Here at Coodes, our corporate and commercial team is passionate about helping local businesses grow, whether you’re a start-up or larger business exploring investment. Through our series of features, we’ll signpost you to some of the different funding options available and provide you with a range of choices to support your aspirations.

In this article, we examine the work of SWIG Finance – the South West’s dedicated Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI). Let me introduce Rachel Thomson, SWIG’s Business Manager to explain more…

Growing aspirations

We are here to support the growth aspirations of small businesses that can’t find the financial support they need from mainstream lenders.

CDFIs have a different business model from traditional shareholder-driven financial institutions, in that our profits are reinvested to support our mission to help underserved businesses realise their full potential.

We are not here to compete with the banks, our lending supports those businesses that fall outside the radar of mainstream lenders due to financial criteria or automated credit scoring methods. We have locally based business managers, and we offer a relationship-focused approach which makes us well-placed to understand our customers’ finance and wider business needs.

A different type of lender

Traditional lenders often judge businesses on historic performance which, for growing companies, can be far from where they are now or where they are heading. Because our decisions are made by people, not computers, we can lend by looking at the bigger picture. We work with businesses to understand where they want to be, how they will get there and what financial support they need to achieve these aspirations.

Assessing a business on its current merit and future opportunities means that we can support projection-led businesses that demonstrate a stronger forecasted performance compared to previous years. By gaining an understanding of what sits behind the forecasts, such as contracts won and sales pipeline, we can base our decisions on the credibility of the forecasts and the potential of the business rather than the historical position.

We also consider non-financial factors in our assessment; where we have an experienced and committed management team or owner with a background in the industry and good business acumen, this gives us greater confidence that they can lead the business through this transition.

What funding can we offer?

SWIG Finance offers growth finance from £25,001 – £250,000 for businesses typically trading for more than two years and we provide support during the application process to give the business the best chance of securing the funding they need to grow.

Loans can be used for cashflow, equipment purchase, new starters salaries and many other uses.

When seeking growth finance, the lender will naturally ask for information, and as a minimum, you would normally need to provide a business plan, 12 months’ cashflow forecasts, the last three years’ financial accounts (if applicable) plus management accounts from the year-end to date and last 6 months business bank statements. Each Director / Owner would normally need to provide details of the personal income, expenditure, assets, and liabilities – we ask for this to check that the business can generate sufficient income to cover what the owner needs.

SWIG is also the South West’s dedicated Business Support Partner for the British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans Scheme, providing funding and support for new and early-stage businesses that have been trading for less than three years.

Support from Coodes

Over the years, I’ve had various business clients who have used Coodes for their business needs and I’ve always found Coodes easy to work with, friendly and helpful, providing a good level of support for both businesses and lenders by making the process simple and effective.

If your business has growth aspirations but needs extra funding to take advantage of its opportunities, please do get in touch on hello@swigfinance.co.uk or 01872 227 930. Alternatively, visit our website for more information: www.swigfinance.co.uk

For all your legal advice when it comes to growing your business, speak to Coodes’ corporate and commercial team. Visit www.coodes.co.uk or call 0800 328 3282.

Tue 18th Jul 2023

Kirsty Davey

Head of Corporate & Commercial

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