A new £9.5m fund has been launched as part of Greater Manchester’s bid to become more globally competitive by helping local businesses to increase their export sales.
The Greater Manchester Export Fund will provide targeted grant and short-term loan funding that will enable local businesses to secure and grow export contracts all over the world.
The Fund was awarded after a bid to the Regional Growth Fund from the Manchester Growth Company and will be delivered by Business Finance Solutions, Business Growth Hub and UKTI.
A minimum of £2.5m of the funding is to provide loansof up to £500k to enable businesses to pursue and fulfill export orders, this element of the Fund will be managed by Business Finance Solutions (BFS) and the loans can be used for export related working capital, asset investment to support export activity or as cash support to enable the client’s bank to issue tender bonds, advanced payment guarantees or performance bonds.
£7m of the funding will be managed by Business Growth Hub (BGH) as a grant fund to support SMEs with up to 20% of a total cost of a project designed to support export growth, such as purchasing new machinery; site refurbishment; consultancy services to support export growth; R&D; attendance at trade fairs and overseas visits and training.
Mark Hughes, Chief Executive of the Manchester Growth Company said: “I am delighted that the Manchester Growth Company has been successful in securing £9.5M of Regional Growth Funding which will be used to provide an innovative approach to grant and loan finance for companies in Greater Manchester who wish to grow their business by gaining access to international markets. The Greater Manchester Export Fund will transform the availability of growth funding and export finance to allow firms to achieve their potential, supporting the businesses on which Greater Manchester’s economic future rests. The scheme will directly create and safeguard over a thousand jobs and will help to drive competitiveness, contributing to the UK target of achieving £1 trillion in exports by 2020.”
Councillor Richard Farnell, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority lead on internationalisation and marketing, said: “Greater Manchester has a long and proud tradition of manufacturing and exporting some of the best products in the world. This new fund is designed to support the next generation of businesses who need an extra investment in machinery, expertise or research to enable them to build or grow their export orders.”
“The fund is a huge boost for businesses in Greater Manchester who may have been held back by not being able to access the cash they need to develop their global trading platforms. Accessing funds quickly when an opportunity arises is key to building a profitable export market and if traditional financial providers can’t help, we can step in to provide the short-term loans a business may need. Programmes like the Export Fund are vital in creating jobs, stability and diversity in the region’s businesses and we want businesses to get in touch now to find out just how we can support their export ambitions.”
Clive Drinkwater, North West regional director for UK Trade & Investment, commented: “This fund is excellent news for businesses across Greater Manchester. At UKTI our mission is to turn the UK into the world’s greatest exporting nation and we want to empower north west companies to go out and succeed in global markets. I’d like to encourage businesses across the region to think big, and contact the Manchester Growth Company in order to access funding. UKTI will then be on hand to support companies every step of the way in their export journey.”
The Greater Manchester Export Fund is open to small or medium enterprises located in Greater Manchester. Grant projects must be completed and funding claimed by April 2017 at the latest, loan projects will be supported by a rolling fund. The Fund is aimed at supporting manufacturing businesses although other sectors may be considered. For further information on the Fund, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Andy Nichols, Senior Loans Manager on 0161 245 4736