Skills and Growth Company service to boost local business

New service unveiled by Cheshire East Council arms-length firm

Cheshire East Council’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company has launched a dedicated service to help local businesses access finance to boost their growth. 

The Access2Finance service is in response to the findings of the latest Cheshire business survey, commissioned by the council, which found that 28 per cent of businesses said not accessing finance was a barrier to their growth.

Nearly 40 per cent of them claimed that cash flow problems were also hampering their expansion plans.

The findings echo national research from the Financial Times, which revealed eight out of 10 business loans are provided by the big four banks and only three per cent of small businesses seek alternative finance options if turned down by their bank.

Access2Finance is a bespoke service to ensure businesses are ‘investment ready’ and will help businesses navigate the many types of finance available, including grants, loans and equity finance, to help select the right funding for their business.

This could include alternative finance such as the government-backed Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, which was set up to provide more than £400m of investment to businesses.

Chairman of the Skills and Growth Company, Cllr George Hayes, said: “The Access2Finance service will provide a much-needed, impartial and personalised approach to ensuring businesses can source the right investment, at the right time, in order to fund their growth aspirations.”

To access the service contact the Skills and Growth Company via business@skillsandgrowth.co.uk or call 0300 123 5001.

Cheshire East Council launched the ‘arms-length’ firm in April 2016, to bring together skills and growth services under one structure.

The Skills and Growth Company’s aim is to enable the council to deliver more for less, achieving greater innovation and benefits for businesses and residents.

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