Financing Birmingham's Future

By on 08/12/2010 in News

Birmingham City Council has today officially announced the launch of a new body providing direct access to financial support for small and medium sized enterprises in the city.

Finance Birmingham will build on the Council-funded Birmingham Business Loan Fund, which has lent more than £4 million to local businesses over the past 12 months alone.

As well as loans, it is anticipated that the body will also offer further financial products and services as part of a programme of activity being developed by the Council and the newly established Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The establishment of Finance Birmingham comes after the City Council assumed ownership of Investbx Managed Services.

Cllr Timothy Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Transportation and Regeneration, said: “Support for businesses forms a major part of the Local Enterprise Partnership proposals recently approved by Government and the formation of Finance Birmingham is a proactive first step towards providing this.

“Investbx had already built many of the relationships and networks among the business community that will be vital for this project to succeed, so it makes sense for us to use the Council's expertise and resources to continue this work under the guise of Finance Birmingham.”

Finance Birmingham will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Birmingham City Council and is intended to be self-sustaining through the interest generated on the loans and other support activity.

Sue Summers, Chief Executive of Finance Birmingham, said: “The City Council has recognised the success of the loan fund and is keen to ensure this work continues.

“Businesses are still facing major challenges in accessing finance from traditional sources and Finance Birmingham will be play an important role in providing the assistance necessary to enable successful companies to continue to grow.

“Through the work Investbx has done through the loan fund and other activity, we are well positioned within the business community to provide support on behalf of the Council.

“These are exciting times and we look forward to working to help small and medium sized enterprises in the city and, in time, within the area covered by the Local Enterprise Partnership.”

In total 16 loans have been awarded through Investbx Managed Services and underwritten by the City Council throughout 2010, these include:

? Install Automation - £250k for Jewellery Quarter based business to expand their company that  allows all household appliances, energy and heating systems to be operated through a single interface which also monitors energy use.

? £250k toward expansion to European market of specialist technology developed by city centre based CCBT Ltd  that  helps treat people with neuroses including phobias, depression and obsessive compulsive disorders.

? Digbeth-based animation and video specialists Big Button Media - loan of 200k to help bring new streaming product to market.

? £100k loan to help Imaginative Minds in Digbeth expand their subscription service for a range of magazines and books based in the educational sector.

ENDS

For more information please contact Simon Houltby 0121 303 3503

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