Finance Review For Business Across West Midlands

Dr Steve Walker
ART Business Loans
Solihull Business Club

First Business Plan...

Before looking...

  1. Business plan remains the starting point.
  2. Does the business owner understand and own the plans?
  3. Can evidence be provided re realism of forecasts.

What's The Priority

  1. Confidence and Enthusiasm
  2. If borrowing, provide as much evidence as you can that you can repay.
  3. If grant seeking –meet the criteria and know what is required.
  4. Resources and Tips

Sources of Finance

Viability and risk the key to all types of finance:

  1. GRANTS- do not have to pay back –be amount v time aware.Satisfy the terms and the grant providers expectations.
  2. DEBT – Loans- Repay capital and interest Where from? proof required forecasts.
  3. EQUITY- High growth and profit expectations- shares in return for risk.

Non-Bank Funding



Very few provide funds for start ups-if they do locally very small amounts. However they can provide some free help and support-mentoring. Testing a product or service - advice and help in areas of business. Most larger grants are now linked to growth and job creation- can be sizeable schemes but will require some matching funds. A changing world – seek advice.

Editors Comment Experiences says if anyone will know it will be ART where you can be sure of impartial honest advice.

Public Sector supported schemes

Government or regionally/locally backed loan schemes including specialist schemes.

Usually workshops and one to one support and mentoring –mostly free.

National Start up loan scheme now any age. Soft loans (6%). Providers also of mentoring free of charge. for up to date list of providers.

Sources of Finance

Banks are still lenders – but criteria tightened. Sometimes even difficult to understand what they are!

Overdrafts/Loans from Banks and other lenders- linked to property, fixed assets.

Almost always linked to security especially the banks for amounts over £25000.

Alternative Sources

Business plan STILL remains the starting point.

  1. Peer Lenders will concentrate mostly on established businesses 2 yrs accounts filed.
  2. Funding Circle and Thin Cats are market leaders.
  3. Crowd Funding (small equity)- still untested at larger levels.
  4. Some innovative invoice discounters are emerging.

(ART) Lending Criteria

  1. Refused loan by bank and other sources.
  2. Viable proposition - application form/business plan-
  3. Concentration on the people and plan.
  4. Social and Economic Benefits to area-usually jobs created or preserved.
  5. Evidence of desire and ability to repay-viability.

Typical Terms

ART -Business Loans

For existing and start up businesses-
£10000 to £150,000, secured and unsecured. Average deal size currently £32k. Up to 7 year loan period . 3 years more usual for most working capital loans/start ups.

Can lend alone or as part of a package for large deals. Commercial rates of interest and fees- 9.5/base> 18/base min 10%. Compare banks for similar loans-times have changed. 15%>29% Wide range of sectors and size of business supported. CONTACT: 0121 359 24440121 359 2444 or visit

Contact ART -
if you are not having success raising capital elsewhere

Call Martin Edmonds, Graham Donaldson, Andy King or Steve Walker on 0121 359 24440121 359 2444


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