January 31, 2020 @ 11:27 by Richard Dawson
More government-backed business loans were approved for entrepreneurs across the North East, North West and Yorkshire than in London, new figures have shown.
Since launching in 2012, the British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans scheme has loaned £151 million to 18,612 start-ups in the North of England, while London-based companies received £128 million across 15,841 businesses.
This means the bank has loaned £23 million more to small businesses in the North than in the capital, showing entrepreneurial spirit is on the rise in the Northern regions.
In 2019 alone, £25 million worth of government-backed funding was lent to help 2,355 people in the North East, North West, Yorkshire, and Humber regions to help cover the costs of starting a business.
The British Business Bank was set up by the coalition Government in 2012, with an initial funding pot of £1 billion.
The scheme aimed to give budding entrepreneurs across the country a boost by offering loans to those who would otherwise struggle to get secure funding through traditional means, as well as offering expertise and support to help people get their start-ups off the ground.
The minister for small business, Kelly Tolhurst MP, said: “We need entrepreneurs to unleash Britain’s potential.
“This Government is backing businesses right across the northern region and is determined to level up every part of the UK.
“Start Up Loans make it possible for even more people to get the funding they need to turn their business ideas into reality.”
One entrepreneur who was able to scale up his small business with a cash boost from the Start Up Loans scheme is Ryan Bailey, co-founder of Northern Monkey Brew in Bolton.
Mr Bailey received a £25,000 loan to help set up his business in 2016, and has now opened a bar and a brewery, producing and selling 30 different beers.
Mr Bailey commented: “It’s been an absolute dream come true to launch the brewery with my friend and business partner Liam.
“It started off as just a hobby as we both liked good beer, but now we supply to pubs across Bolton.
“It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come, and we are incredibly grateful to Start Up Loans for giving us the support and advice we needed to get started.”