From April this year, IBDs will be eligible for loans from the government-backed Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme. Previously, retail businesses were not eligible.

Need cash for expansion? Banks won’t play ball?

The SFLGS is a guarantee made by the Department of Trade and Industry to a lending bank against default by the borrower for sums between £5000 and £250 000 and is intended to be in addition to standard commercial finance. It cannot be obtained if a standard loan is available.

Applicant businesses can be sole traders, partnerships, franchises, co-operatives and limited companies, either trading or about to trade in the near future.

Under the revamped scheme, non manufacturing businesses must turnover less than £3m and any loans taken out before 1993 will not be counted towards the loan maximum. Other changes include a rise in the maximum guaranteed to 75 percent of the loan and a loan premium paid to the DTI of 2.0 percent a year on the loan’s outstanding balance.

DTI Loan Guarantee Unit, tel: 0114 259 7308.

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