BCRS Business Loans
Fund manager - Social Investment Scotland
BCRS Business Loans provides loans to community-based micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the West Midlands.
- £9.1m Amount of loans made by BCRS in 2020
- 152 Number of businesses supported by BCRS in 2020
- 492 Jobs created through BCRS loans in 2020
Accessing finance continues to be a major challenge for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK, which significantly hinders their growth and sustainability. Not only are SMEs the backbone of the UK economy at large, but are also a force for social good by creating employment for people in the communities they operate within and supporting growth in some of the most deprived communities in the UK.
BCRS Business Loans provides loans of £10,000-£150,000 to community-based micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the West Midlands to help them grow, create and sustain jobs, and promote economic activity at a local level. BCRS received £7.5 million investment from the Community Investment Enterprises Facility, managed by Social Investment Scotland. Big Society Capital established the fund with a £30 million investment to help Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) like BCRS support the needs of small local businesses.
In the 2020 financial year BCRS lent £9.07 million, supporting 152 businesses which in turn safeguarded 857 jobs and created 492 new ones. This added an additional £47.3 million of value to the West Midlands economy.
BCRS became a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) accredited lender in March 2020 to deliver much-needed access to finance, lending over £10 million under the scheme in just eight months. The lending milestone means that 102 businesses have received funding since the beginning of April which was predominantly used to support working capital needs during extended periods of disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. More importantly, this means that just under 1,500 jobs have been safeguarded and almost 230 jobs have been created in the West Midlands as a result of this funding. In addition to this, the BCRS team also reached out to over 165 existing customers to arrange tailored payment plans to minimise the strain on businesses.