A small loan at the right time can do great things for your business
When setting up a company, some people need just small amount to help them get their feet off the ground. It is amazing to see just how much small loans from Foundation East can help a person’s business.
Such is the case for Elizabeth and Stuart Matthews, who dreamed of setting up a sheep farm, but required a loan of a couple of thousand pounds for machinery in order to get them started. The couple had been living off benefits since Elizabeth, a former legal secretary, was diagnosed with Leukaemia, and her husband, Stewart, gave up his job to support her. As Elizabeth recovered, she and Stewart were determined to get off benefits and start their farm business. However the couple’s credit score had been crippled by their time off work, so they were unable to find a bank that was willing to lend them money.
This is when the Matthews contacted Foundation East. I visited Elizabeth and Stewart on their farm, (something which Elizabeth found other banks were reluctant to do), and gained a better understanding of what the couple wanted to achieve.
After looking at their business plan, and the impressive amount of research that the couple had done, I referred them to the Foundation East panel. Here at Foundation East, loans of up to £50,000 are allocated by a panel of members, who are often local business people with a desire to support fledgling businesses. They saw the Matthews’ potential and granted them a loan.
Although the sums were small, our loan, along with the Matthews’ hard work and determination, has moved the business, Skeldale Flock, forward 12 months. It has been hard manual work, but the couple’s commitment is inspiring. Now Elizabeth and Stewart have a thriving flock and are selling their high quality meat to private individuals, restaurants and pubs.
It has been really satisfying watching the Matthew’s business grow, as their small loan and hard work has helped them achieve great things for their business. Elizabeth and Stewart’s case demonstrates how even small loans can help you turn your life around, and get you that one step closer to achieving your business dream.
Peter Davis, Business Loans Manager