Lancashire firms urged to use £900m fund

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Lancashire businesses have been urged to take advantage of HSBC’s £900 million lending fund.

It has been launched to support small and medium-sized enterprises in the North West as part of a broader commitment to helping British businesses realise their ambitions for growth.

The fund is part of a wider £10bn fund for SMEs across the UK which has also been launched today.

HSBC continues to be open to lending, having approved 91 per cent of small business lending applications in the last year.

Mike Hemmingway, HSBC’s regional director for the North, said: “The launch of this fund reaffirms our commitment to support the growth of North West SMEs of all sizes, from start-ups to established businesses.

“We have so many ambitious businesses in our region who are keen to grow locally, nationally and internationally. This fund is all about helping those businesses make investments that will enable them to achieve their goals while stimulating our local economy and creating jobs.”

A major focus of this year’s fund is to encourage small businesses to feel confident about exploring opportunities for export.

A 2016 FSB Report noted that one-in-five small businesses currently export, but there is potential to double this figure with the right support*.

Amanda Murphy, Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC UK, added: “SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy, and for many there is an opportunity and appetite to grow their business through exporting.”

Preston-based manufacturer Beech’s Fine Chocolates was one of many North West firms to benefit from last year’s SME Fund. Beech’s, which has been making quality traditional British chocolates since 1920, secured a six-figure finance package from HSBC to grow its workforce.