14 May 2014

A new £5 million funding initiative has been launched to help local companies in the Gatwick Diamond and its surrounding areas access the finance they need to grow and create jobs.

The Coast to Capital [C2C] Funding Escalator comprises an equity fund and a loan scheme which can provide equity investments up to £125,000 and loans up to £200,000, to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).

Managed by The FSE Group on behalf of Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, the £5 million of funding will be split as follows:

  • £4 million Expansion Loan Scheme providing between £50,000 and £200,000 to established SMEs;
  • £1 million Growth Equity Fund providing between £50,000 and £125,000 as an equity investment to earlier stage SMEs; (Equity investments must be matched with an equal amount of private investment.)

Loans and investments will be made for a variety of growth and expansion activities including marketing and sales team development, operational scaling up and new product or service enhancement.  With its primary purpose of generating economic prosperity and job creation, the Coast to Capital Funding Escalator will only consider opportunities that can demonstrate growth impact.

Applicants to the C2C Expansion Loan Scheme could unlock access to a further £200,000 of loan funding through a successful application to the South East Sustainability Loan Fund. Qualifying companies would need to demonstrate that they are developing or selling a product or service that looks to reduce carbon emissions, or are investing in more efficient business practices.

C2C funding is available to businesses based in the Coast to Capital area which includes: Horsham, Crawley, Mid Sussex, Mole Valley, Reigate & Banstead, Epsom & Ewell and Tandridge.

Ron Crank, Coast to Capital chief executive said: “Despite the improved economic situation, local companies tell us they are struggling to secure the finance they need.  We are keen to ensure that they have access to the right finance so they can fulfil their growth potential and add extra momentum to the local economy.”

Kevan Jones, CEO of The FSE Group added: “As a fund manager working with high growth SMEs for over a decade, we understand the challenges facing businesses and the potential risks involved in lending to this market. We are delighted to be working with Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver this much needed funding.”

For more information or to apply for funding from the Coast to Capital Funding Escalator, please visit www.c2cbusinessfunding.co.uk.

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