Regional finance company SWIG Finance has passed the £10 million milestone for loans given to new businesses around the South West under the government’s Start Up Loans scheme.
The organisation, which has offices in Bristol and Truro with local fund managers around the South West, has provided 89 loans in Gloucestershire worth £698,000.
Among them are Max Shaw and Chris Capewell, co-directors of independent menswear retailer Union Project, based in Montpellier.
The pair jointly received an £18,000 loan from SWIG Finance in September 2013, contributing the majority of their £25,000 start-up costs.
Four years later, the business is profitable and looking to upscale next year to a new premises closer to the city centre.
Max said: “Without the SWIG Start Up Loans initiative I don’t know where we’d have been able to source our funding from. We never got close to receiving any money from a bank because we are in retail.”
Sarah Osborn, Fund Manager for SWIG Finance in Gloucestershire, said: “Start Up Loans are a key part of the government’s strategy to encourage entrepreneurship in the UK, increase the rate of business creation and improve survival prospects. It provides the right support at the right time and is a fantastic scheme to be part of.”