SMALL and medium sized businesses in the Fife area could be eligible for loans of up to £100,000 as part of a funding programme delivered by Business Loans Scotland.
Applications are welcome from limited companies, social enterprises and partnerships with four or more partners. Sole traders and partnerships with three or fewer partners can also submit applications for loans of over £25,000. The funding can be used for working capital and to help buy plant, equipment and business property.
The loans are intended to provide gap funding, and are only available where other public sector funding (including the Business Loans Scotland’s contribution), come to no more than 50% of the total funding package.
Businesses applying need to demonstrate that they have explored all other available funding options. This includes personal funds and borrowing, bank funding and the potential for equity from venture capitalists. Support and advice is available from Business Gateway and Fife Council’s economic development team to help local businesses reach this stage.
Applicants are also required to demonstrate what their business or business project will bring to the local or Scottish economy. As a guide, the following business sectors are likely to be eligible for support: manufacturing, services to manufacturing, construction, wholesale, transport and distribution, software, agriculture linked to farm diversification, tourism and tourism infrastructure.
Certain other businesses may also be considered, such as restaurants which support local tourism; retail activities in isolated settlements where there is no suitable alternative provider or which have a tourism focus; specialist business activities where key skills could be lost, and some service-based businesses. Those which are unlikely to be eligible for support include businesses involved in the sale of motor vehicles, real estate, speculative property development, professional services, social and personal services and local services.