Herefordshire Council has facilitated £150,000 of lending to eight businesses in Herefordshire alongside private investment as part of a council-backed scheme to stimulate economic growth and employment in the area.
Herefordshire Council began to finance local business growth in January through Funding Circle, the UK’s leading marketplace for business loans.
15 other councils across the country (including Lambeth, Gloucestershire and Lancashire County Councils) and the Government have also signed up to lend money to small and medium sized businesses through similar partnerships with Funding Circle.
Councilor Tony Johnson, leader of Herefordshire council, said: “The figures and take up are very
Encouraging. Our partnership with Funding Circle shows our support to projects which help local businesses grow and to our priority of encouraging jobs and wage growth in the county.”
The partnership, which started last year, sees the council offer part financing of eligible loans to help drive significant growth and create jobs to the county.
Natasha Jones of Funding Circle said: “Our partnership with Herefordshire Council gives businesses in the area a faster way to access finance, freeing up their time to grow and realise their potential. It’s great to see such success in the region, and it highlights how online marketplaces can give local people and organisations a direct role in supporting business growth in their area."
Funding Circle enables businesses to access finance independent of their banks, whilst at the same time British people can earn attractive* returns. The process sidesteps the high street banks with businesses receiving finance within days compared to up to three months for a traditional bank loan. To date, more than £800 million of loans have been lent to over 10,000 small businesses across the UK.
To be eligible, businesses must typically have a minimum turnover of £50,000 and have been trading for at least two years. Once businesses pass Funding Circle’s credit assessment processes, the loan is posted on the marketplace. From here, investors choose which businesses to lend to. Investors can bid small amounts, from as little as £20, on lots of different businesses to spread their risk