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200 Northern companies benefit from microfinance


37 firms in Cheshire and Warrington accessed funding

NPIF- GC & River Microfinance has injected more than £10m into 200 companies across the North West, as it looks to boost the region's small business community, including Wilmslow-based firm Practically Family pictured. 

NPIF - GC & River Microfinance which is managed by GC Business Finance (GCBF) and River Capital, have deployed £13m into companies since 2017, with loans of between £25,000 and £100,000. 

Alternative finance provider GCBF is responsible for distributing loans to businesses in Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Lancashire and Cumbria, whilst River Capital is tasked with identifying lending opportunities across the Liverpool City Region.

Recent transactions include a £55,000 loan to Stockport-based 9Ways Digital Media, and a £35,000 injection in Blackpool-based REAX, which is a specialist access and rescue training business.

In terms of finance distribution, 84 businesses have benefited in Greater Manchester, along with 45 in Liverpool City Region, 37 in Cheshire and Warrington, 28 in Lancashire and six in Cumbria.

Paul Breen, director of GC Business Finance, said: "We've worked hard over the past few years to develop a market leading fintech platform that enables us to distribute loans more quickly and effectively to entrepreneurs in all corners of our region.

"We're proud to have supported so many dynamic companies that have huge potential to become leaders in their field as they launch incredible products and services, develop the next generation of talent, and constantly look for new ways to innovate. It's been a pleasure for us to be part of the success created by the Northern Powerhouse agenda and we look forward to continuing our work in this area to help rebalance the economy."

Keira Shepperson, director at the British Business Bank, added: "The partnership between the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and our fund managers showcases the strength of public-private sector collaboration in fostering regional economic transformation.

"So many early-stage businesses have been underserved when it comes to accessing finance, and we're delighted that GC Business Finance and River Capital have been able to reach this significant milestone to provide a boost to the next generation of entrepreneurs across the North West."

Launched in 2017, NPIF was established by the British Business Bank to address the regional imbalances in access to finance by providing between £25k and £2m in equity, debt and micro finance to northern businesses. It is funded European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), HM Government and the European Investment Bank. British Business Bank will be launching NPIF II in the first quarter of 2024

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of theEuropean Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.