Northern Powerhouse fund helps hundreds of small firms flourish

Performance Glass Processing based in Halifax
Performance Glass Processing based in Halifax

A social enterprise which won a major “microfinance” contract from the Government-backed Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF)  is already helping hundreds of firms in the region to flourish.

Business lender the Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) has announced that for every £1 invested, over £4 has been added in value to the local economy, amounting to a £29 million benefit this year.

The figures come from BEF’s Social Impact Report and Annual Statement, which also reveals that 175 new businesses have been created in the last year in Yorkshire and the North East, following investment through the Government’s Start Up Loans Programme, of which they are a delivery partner.

One of the businesses to benefit is Performance Glass Processing, based in Halifax.

Stephen Waud, BEF chief executive, said:“As a social enterprise, we do things differently. This year’s figures - and figures from the previous five years - demonstrate that the way we responsibly lend to small businesses can be sustainable and have an enormous impact on the economy.”

The BEF report reveals that almost a quarter of the lending this year was to manufacturing businesses.

Mark Goldstone, head of policy at the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said he was “really pleased to see nearly a quarter of BEF’s lending has supported this important sector”.