Emma Dudley is a Finance Specialist at GLE oneLondon, responsible for working with Southwark businesses. GLE oneLondon is managing the lending of the Regional Growth Fund for businesses in London. Through this, it provides loans to small, micro and social enterprises through the community finance sector. We ask Emma about the funding available to small businesses in Southwark
What kind of funding is available?
"GLE oneLondon currently has £ 7.2 million of Regional Growth Funding, available to lend to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in London."
What kinds of businesses do you see it benefitting?
"Any business that has been declined by a mainstream finance provider, such as a bank could benefit from such a loan. We will support businesses, which have been trading over 12 months and are looking to grow, create or protect jobs."
How is it different to applying for money from the bank?
"The overall application process is similar to that of a bank. Like the banks we require an application form with the business and personal details of the owner(s), a business plan, historical financial information, a cash flow forecast, etc. Once we have received a complete application, we carry out due diligence, which involves a visit to the business premises to meet the owner or owners to discuss their application in more depth. As GLE oneLondon does not credit score, we assess each application on its own merits. If one of our lenders considers an application to be viable and represent an acceptable credit risk for the fund they will make a recommendation to our Loan Panel. The owner or owners will be invited to attend a loan panel meeting to present their application. The panel is made up of ex-bankers, who are highly experienced in lending to SME businesses. The panellists make the final decision and if they approve the application, the finance is yours."
How can businesses apply?
"By either visiting our website: www.glebusinessloans.co.uk , download and complete an application form; email emma.d [at] gle.co.uk or alternatively you can call us on 0845 603 2820 where I can answer any of your queries."
Emma is happy to answer questions any time via email or phone. To register your interest in a drop-in funding clinic event in Bankside, please email kb [at] betterbankside.co.uk (subject: GLE%20funding%20article%20on%20website) (Katy Barker.)
This Regional Growth Fund programme is provided through the Community Development Finance Association. £30 million of funding has been provided by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, matched with a further £30 million by the Co-operative Bank and Unity Trust Bank.
The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a £2.6 billion fund operating across England from 2011 to 2016. It supports projects and programmes that are using private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.
About the CDFA
The Community Development Finance Association (CDFA) is the trade association for Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) that provide finance and support to help enterprises and individuals develop and create wealth including support to disadvantaged communities.