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Where to find UK funding opportunities for small businesses...
Finding funding can be a lengthy process. Often some financial aid is needed, particularly for small companies in order to balance the outgoings while the business gets under way. The obvious solution for this might be taking out a small business loan and there are a number of companies and banks offering this service. If you choose this option be wary of loan sharks and improper offers and pay attention to detail. This is not however the only funding opportunity for small businesses, besides which some new and un-established businesses will struggle to find a company prepared to lend without feeling confident about the return of their money.
Small Business Loan Guarantee Service
If you are having problems securing a loan due to lack of security, try the Small Firms Loan Guarantee service provided by the Small Business Service (SBS). Through this process the government will guarantee 75% of a loan given to businesses with stable business models, in the event that they cannot pay. This option for small business funding is only open to businesses that have not been approved through the normal loan application channels, but bare it in mind in case it becomes applicable to you. It means you can apply for a loan with considerably improved security – in return you must pay 2% of the outstanding loan to the SBS annually.
Small Business Grants
Small business funding can come from a number of sources, the main ones being grants from an authority or organisation – often prepared to give the money with no expectations or repayment. In the majority of cases the government is in charge of the distribution of grant money, however there are other options for small business funding such as charitable organisations like The Prince’s Trust, this is a particularly viable option for young people starting out in the business world.
To have a realistic chance of obtaining grant money you must be prepared to demonstrate hard work and commitment to your project. It helps if you are committing some of your own money to the project; often businesses must match the grant sum with their own funds, although this decision is not to be taken lightly. Remember that competition for this type of small business funding is strong and grant numbers are limited so have a contingency plan where possible.
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