Trafford start-ups set to benefit from funding boost
A fund geared towards backing start-up and existing businesses across Trafford looks set to be established.
The initiative – dubbed the Trafford Small Business Loan Fund – has been thought up in a bid to address the identified gap in existing provision.
A report to Trafford Council's executive – which meets on 24 June – noted that a major barrier to starting or growing a business is often the availability of affordable finance. The Trafford Economic and Housing Growth Framework (2018) has previously identified that more could be done to support the retention of existing companies, including the identification and maximisation of any funding boosts.
Earlier in the year, research suggested that businesses across Trafford would face a number of adverse economic impacts in the event of a no-deal Brexit, with the borough likely to perform "relatively poorly" compared to the rest of Greater Manchester.
This is alluded to in the new report, adding that it will be important to implement measures that improve the competitiveness of the borough through "supporting its business base and attracting investment".
Under the proposed Trafford Small Business Loan Fund, both start-up and existing SME businesses would be able to borrow between £5,000 and £25,000, repayable over two or three years at an interest rate of 6.2 per cent APR and therefore providing an "affordable loan product currently not available on the market".
The initiative would be managed by GC Business Finance.
The executive was told that council could choose not to establish a loan fund. However, it was warned that this would then "not meet the identified gap in existing provision or provide a specific Trafford offer to encourage businesses to start-up and grow across the borough".
As such, it has been recommended to approve the establishment of the Trafford Small Business Loan Fund and delegate authority to the corporate director for place to enter into a formal agreement with GC Business Finance to manage the initiative.