Duplex Fund pumps more than £1million into local businesses
"The loan has been a tremendous help in enabling us to level up in scale with our demand, streamline our goals for sustainability and create another stable source of income."
An innovative loans and grants scheme funded by Warwickshire County Council has made payments of more than £1million to small businesses in Warwickshire in just over two years.
The Duplex Investment Fund was launched in January 2020 to help finance capital investments by local businesses.
It combines public sector grants and loans and is aimed at businesses which are unable to generate sufficient funding to progress with an otherwise viable investment project.
The Fund. delivered by Coventry & Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust on behalf of Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council and Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, has now made payments of £1.14million.
Among businesses to have benefited from the support is Hemp Whole Foods. The Warwick-based company received a £40,000 loan towards its plans to upscale to meet rising demand and director Ed Burman says the support has bolstered the business on several levels.
"The loan has been a tremendous help in enabling us to level up in scale with our demand, streamline our goals for sustainability and create another stable source of income.
"It has not only made the business more secure and productive but has played a key role in the reduction of our carbon footprint which is exactly the direction we wanted to head in.
"CWRT have enabled us to do this in a much shorter space of time making all of our products that bit more sustainable. The process of applying for the loan was also very clear and manageable with the excellent guidance and assistance of our CWRT advisor Leah Blocksidge."
The Duplex Fund project was initially funded by £3.9 million of grants from the Government’s Local Growth Fund and the CWLEP. Coventry City Council and Warwickshire County Council each invested a further £2million in the scheme which will be managed by CWRT.
Loans between £30,000 to £100,000 are available and up to 40 per cent of the expenditure could be available as a grant, allowing businesses to manage their cash flow flexibly.
Chief executive of CWRT, Sheridan Sulskis said: "Our whole ethos is about filling that gap in the marketplace, whether that's through our commercial or Duplex loans or our business support activities.
"I would urge businesses based in Coventry and Warwickshire to take advantage of this comprehensive financial package available to help them to grow, diversify, innovate, address skills challenges, and become more low carbon.”
Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Economy & Place, Cllr Kam Kaur, said: "It is great to see that the Duplex Investment Fund has achieved such success in its objective of giving businesses the financial support which they need but otherwise might struggle to access.
"At Warwickshire County Council we are constantly striving to make business support fit the evolving needs of businesses and the Duplex Investment Fund is a great example of this."
For more information, please visit: www.cwrt.uk.com/duplex