Businesses in Coventry heard about the £50 million Coventry Investment Fund designed to boost SMEs and create jobs at an event organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).
The latest Inform event held throughout Coventry and Warwickshire heard about the innovative fund from Coventry City Council – just one of the products that have been launched to ensure Coventry and Warwickshire’s economy is performing strongly.
Around 70 businesses at the event, which was held at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry, were given a presentation by David Cockcroft, assistant director of City Services and Development at Coventry City Council, about the Coventry Investment Fund.
The second round of applications to receive funding is now open until May 9 and SMEs have been encouraged to put forward their business case which will be assessed within six weeks of being submitted.
David said the Coventry Investment Fund had been set-up to give a helping hand to businesses who had been denied finance through the usual avenues as well as to improve the area’s economy.
He said: “Each business case should outline why they should be given a commercial rate loan from the scheme.
“It is aimed at encouraging businesses to re-locate to Coventry, to increase their premises within the city and to take on extra members of staff.
“The benefit to council tax-payers is that units which were previously empty will then be occupied or businesses will be extending their site and that will mean an increase in business rates so it is a win-win situation.
“We are helping business owners who have been turned down by their bank for a loan to take their business forward, which will boost the economy and create more jobs.
“We are particularly keen to encourage applicants who are ready to act as a catalyst to development immediately because we all want to see a city which is moving forward in the right direction.
“The forms are not complicated and once the Coventry Investment Fund board gives the green light after receiving the initial business case, we will invite applicants to submit a detailed business case and the whole process will take between four and six weeks.”
Cllr Lynnette Kelly, Coventry City Council Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Employment and Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) director, added: “We recognise that when business owners have the opportunity to expand their company, they don’t want to be left waiting for months while a decision is made which is why we don’t leave people waiting for an answer for a long time.
“All this reinforces the message that there are funding options available to businesses whatever sector they specialise in because this scheme is intended to help projects which can proceed immediately.”