The Liverpool City Region Finance Hub funded by Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, MSIF and Growth Platform has announced a record-breaking year of enquiries and drawdowns for local SMEs.
In the year to March 2023, The LCR Finance Hub handled a total of 555 enquiries from Liverpool City Region based SMEs, leading to £5.2m being drawn by businesses across the region, surpassing its previous record of £4.4m in what was a landmark year. The LCR Finance Hub has now handled over 3,000 enquiries and supported SMEs in drawing more than £18.5m from a variety of funding sources since its inception in 2017.
The LCR Finance Hub, acts as a single access point to finance for SMEs trying to obtain external funding and assists businesses in creating individually tailored packages, ensuring an effective proposition is in place before applying for funding. Through its increased exposure at various Liverpool City Region events, its extensive network and its general business development, The LCR Finance Hub has cemented its position as the region’s leader in connecting SMEs to the best funding source for their business.
Funding secured by SMEs in the last 12 months having engaged with The LCR Finance Hub included 15 start up loans totaling £267k, a £475k loan from the Liverpool City Region Flexible Growth Fund, a £1.1m angel investment for an app-based business and three deals in conjunction with LYVA Labs that included match funding from Innovate UK grants totaling £1.5m.
LCR Finance Hub Lead George Wright commented on the record year by saying:
“These record-breaking achievements are real evidence of the increasing capabilities of The LCR Finance Hub which result in unparalleled market knowledge.
The significant investments we have helped to make happen over the last few years have enabled us to help grow and develop the Liverpool City Region and by providing a free gateway for SMEs wishing to access external funding we are helping to create quality jobs and ensure a strong local economy.
We are fully committed to continuing to assist SMEs at various stages of their funding journeys and have begun 2023/24 strongly with nine deals completed, a further £575k under offer and an additional £12m under active review, demonstrating the continued demand for the service.”
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy – accounting for 99% of all businesses in the region. They’re essential, not only to our current success, but to our long-term prosperity.
“Since I was elected Mayor, I’ve been working to establish our area as an innovation engine and one of the most attractive, supportive environments to launch and grow a business in. By supporting LCR Finance Hub, we’re helping more SMEs in the region to access the advice and funding they need to take their business to the next level – creating secure, local jobs and helping to grow our economy in the process.”
Welcoming the news, Janice Mears, Head of Business Growth at Growth Platform- Liverpool City Region Growth Company said:
“This is fantastic news from the Finance Hub. It has always been our intention that every small and medium-sized business in the city region should have access to financial guidance and support for their business to help them grow and create jobs. Handling over 3,000 enquiries leading to more than £18.5m being drawn by businesses from a variety of funding sources is a testament to the work of the Finance Hub team has achieved since 2017. Here at Growth Platform we will continue to work with MSIF and the city region’s financial and professional community to develop and build on the successes of the Finance Hub so we can continue support our local businesses.”
Congratulating the efforts of the Finance Hub, John O’Brien Chairman at MSIF added:
“MSIF is delighted that the Finance Hub under George’s leadership has gone from strength to strength and with the support of our partners we expect that it will continue to do so assisting more entrepreneurs and ensuring that they receive the right funding to bring their vision into being and making a positive impact for the Liverpool City Region”.