An innovative new scheme has been helping businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire find the investment they need to grow their business.
The Duplex Investment Fund, which is a combined grant and loan, is an initiative between the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT).
The project is being funded by £3.9 million of grants from the Government’s Local Growth Fund and the CWLEP. Coventry City Council and Warwickshire County Council are each investing a further £2 million in the scheme which will be managed by CWRT.
The fund is aimed at businesses which are unable to generate sufficient cash to progress with an otherwise viable investment project. This fund is a new way to help finance capital investments by local businesses.
Loans between £30,000 to £100,000 are available and up to 40 per cent of the expenditure could be available as a grant, allowing businesses to manage their cash flow flexibly.
To qualify, businesses will need to have traded for two years, backed up by accounts, have a business plan and be able to demonstrate that they need the grant. Applicants who can prove that new jobs will be created will be given priority.
Minister for Local Growth, Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said: “We are committed to boosting economic growth in the Midlands Engine and levelling up every region in the UK so that every community has the investment and support it needs to flourish.
“Backed by a total of £3.9 million Government funding including from the Local Growth Fund, the Duplex Investment Fund is there to help entrepreneurs with fantastic ideas who need a little extra help to take their business to the next stage and unlock new jobs.”
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration at Coventry City Council and CWLEP board director, said: “Small and medium sized business are the economic backbone of our city. Together they employ more people than the big companies combined but they can struggle to access funding to support their ambitions for growth.
“That’s why Duplex is so important. It will provide funding where it’s needed to support ambition and growth. But what’s really clever is the way it’s been set up as a revolving facility, so the overall business loan funding made available will ultimately be even higher than our initial £2m contribution. This means we can support even more businesses – creating opportunities for more jobs to be created.”
Warwickshire County Council leader Cllr Izzi Seccombe said: “Our region has an amazing diversity of excellence across the business spectrum. It is renowned for being home to some of the biggest names in industry but, increasingly, it is the small businesses that are creating employment and driving our economy forwards. The County Council and our partners are keen to support these businesses with making the next step in their growth.
“The Duplex Fund, which is part of a £5 million investment by the County Council in access to finance programmes, is an exciting new dimension to the support available to those businesses.”
Graham Simpson, of CWRT, said: ‘’Duplex is a game-changer that is going to make a real difference to local businesses looking to invest and grow.”