Council launches service to help local businesses access finance

Access2Finance event

Cheshire East Council's arms-length Skills and Growth Company has launched a dedicated service to help local businesses access finance to boost their growth.

The Access2Finance service is in response to the findings of the latest Cheshire business survey, commissioned by the council, which found that 28 per cent of businesses said not accessing finance was a barrier to their growth. Nearly 40 per cent of them claimed that cash flow problems were also hampering their expansion plans.

The findings echo national research from the Financial Times, which revealed eight out of 10 business loans are provided by the big four banks and only three per cent of small businesses seek alternative finance options if turned down by their bank.

Access2Finance is a bespoke service to to help businesses navigate the many types of finance available, including grants, loans and equity finance, to help select the right funding for their business.

Councillor George Hayes, chairman of the Skills and Growth Company, said: "The Access2Finance service will provide a much-needed, impartial and personalised approach to ensuring businesses can source the right investment, at the right time, in order to fund their growth aspirations."

To access the service contact the Skills and Growth Company email [email protected] or call 0300 123 5001.

The full Cheshire business survey results are available online

Photo: The Skills and Growth Company Access2Finance team with Councillor George Hayes (right) and local business people at the launch on Thursday, 25th January.
(From right: Skills and Growth Company chairman Cllr George Hayes; Andy Hustwit, Access2Finance manager; Charlie Graybrook, of Frank Olsen Furniture; Sue Barnard, British Business Bank; Andrew Nichols, of Business Finance Solutions; Jeremy Thompson, of Maven Capital Partners; and John Willis, business engagement and inward investment manager of the Skills and Growth Company).

Cheshire East Council


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Nick Jones
Sunday 28th January 2018 at 1:00 pm
Whilst a commendable idea, finance is the prime aspect of any business,( If the numbers dont add up.. its a non starter !) the real 'Help to local business ' CEC could offer but doesnt;

a) Improved / Reduced or Free Parking to visitors / workers
b) Incentives to prevent the 'churn' of empty shops in our Town centres

Without the 'total package' Handforth Dean gets bigger, Local Towns suffocate.
Just look at the Trafford Centre and its impact to local towns / business...

So the next step to both support this initiative and the community must be a) and b) above to name just two key factors...
Terry Roeves
Sunday 28th January 2018 at 3:49 pm
Skills and Growth sounds like business’s don’t know about either and need council help. They don’t. They do this themselves or they fail. They do not need a Council to help, All that’s happening is that the day of reckoning is being delayed. Interfering with market forces imho. Councils aren’t paid to do this, especially not a conservative one. Mrs Thatcher must be turning in her grave.
Plus, any sound business finance opportunity does not need council help to sort out. Given the austere times CEC tell us they live in, it’s a Dept that can be completely eliminated, with a decent saving that can go towards sustaining services such as mending our roads.
I’m all for prompting inward investment but this is a side show.
Manuel Golding
Monday 29th January 2018 at 12:15 pm
My only question of CEC is "WHY?"