Sunday, 14 February 2016

Loans fund goes over £1m mark

HELP for a Barrow firm pushed a special loans fund for Cumbria over the £1m for the first time.

The Cumbria Asset Reinvestment Trust made its latest loan to Corporate Care Furness Limited, a domiciliary care provider based in Barrow.

Business owner Jakki Kelly needed the CART loan to enable her to buy out the previous owners of the business.

She said: “It is a successful operation delivering essential care services in and around Barrow, but the owners wanted to move on.

“I had been managing it since 2005 and we have almost 20 staff.

“I was keen to secure the jobs and our services to vulnerable adults for the future, but the timing – with the credit crunch – was all wrong and I couldn’t get a loan from the bank to help me buy the business.”

She added: “When I talked to Val Robinson at Furness Enterprise, she referred me to CART.

“ The loan from them has made this possible and I now feel very responsible for everyone but I also have control over our future as a company.”

The Cumbria Asset Reinvestment Trust is Cumbria’s local Community Development Finance Institution. It provides business loans to borrowers in Cumbria who cannot obtain all their financial requirements from their bank.

CART loans range from £1,000 to £50, 000, usually repayable over between six and 60 months, and its financial support comes mainly via the Northwest Regional Development Agency.

The organisation has a team of four based in Penrith.

To mark the £1m milestone, Furness MP John Hutton met Jakki and with CART chief executive, Grahame Latus, at the Corporate Care premises in Barrow.

Mr Hutton said: “Any developing business needs support to set it on its way.

“CART provides that and plays a vital role in supporting businesses when they most need it.

“ £1m of investment in jobs and local businesses is a significant milestone and I want to congratulate CART and wish them and the businesses they support all the very best for the future.”

Mr Latus said: “We have now helped over 100 Cumbrian businesses with loans in the past four years, and they cover the full range of sectors and size

“Preserving or creating jobs is a priority at the moment and many of our clients are using CART loans to do just that.

“Jakki is typical of the local business owners who need practical financial support to enable them to shape the future of their companies.”

To celebrate the £1m milestone CART donated a bottle of champagne to Jakki and her team plus a cheque for £100 to their chosen charity, the Barrow branch of The Alzheimer’s Society.

The CART team says it is now looking forward to working with the next 100 companies in the coming months and years.

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