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New partnership helps small businesses


26 Sep 16

Your CU will be helping fledgling businesses in Kensington and Chelsea through a unique new partnership.

Kensington-based Your Credit Union and Portobello Business Centre will administer £100,000 in loan guarantee funds on behalf of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, specifically supporting the self-employed and new micro-businesses with loans. Typically loans will be for a few thousand pounds, but could go up to £10,000.

The Council is supporting the scheme to help the two organisations work together and offer finance to start-ups. In addition, they will offer business and financial advice.

The scheme is intended to help residents who have not been able to raise start-up finance from traditional sources such as the banks, which can be difficult particularly if a person is currently out of work. Newly trading, small and micro businesses will also be able to access loans to help them become more sustainable.

The Royal Borough’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration Cllr Rock Feilding-Mellen said: “The Council offers a range of business support to help local enterprises. This ranges from guaranteeing small loans and helping residents become self-employed, to helping more established businesses to expand.”

Chairman of Your Credit Union Jonathon Read said: “Small businesses find it very hard to borrow and quite modest amounts can make the difference between someone taking the leap or never acting.

“Access to credit can be very challenging for small businesses despite being a viable credit risk. What small businesses need is an alternative and we are working with the Royal Borough and Portobello Business Centre to offer it. It is a great frustration when good ideas cannot be developed - we all miss out.”

Allen Pluck, CEO of Portobello Business Centre, said “Small and micro-businesses are unique and face very different challenges to larger companies. They don’t always have the manpower resources or time and need help to overcome the challenges they face.

“The new relationship with Your Credit Union will help remedy this with tangible assistance on the ground for the smallest businesses which will in turn provide new jobs and a more vibrant community for everyone.”

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