Firms in Newry are being urged to consider a specialist loan fund for smaller businesses which has provided more than £6m in new loans since it was launched four years ago. 

To date the Northern Ireland Small Business Loan Fund (the Fund) is estimated to have helped create over 150 new jobs and additional sales of almost £30m.

The Fund is managed by Ulster Community Finance (UCF) on behalf of Invest Northern Ireland and delivered in partnership with Enterprise Northern Ireland. UCF is a subsidiary of the social finance organisation Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT).

The Fund was set up to provide access to finance for small businesses, sole traders and partnerships which are keen to develop their business, but find it difficult to access funding through traditional sources.

William McCulla, Invest NI’s Director of Corporate Finance pointed out the fund is now in its fifth year and " the Small Business Loan Fund is continuing to make a significant difference to the business community in Northern Ireland by boosting business confidence and ensuring SMEs have access to the type of finance needed to support their growth and development.

“We are delighted to have offered this support to a range of businesses across Northern Ireland in sectors including IT, Manufacturing, Hospitality, Tourism and Retail, which has helped to create jobs, bring new products to market and help company’s realise their growth ambitions.”

The Fund provides loans of up to £50,000 to start-ups, micro enterprises and small businesses.  As a revolving fund it’s expected that a figure in excess of £7m will be made available over the course of the fund’s lifetime.