Business

Speed of the essence as First Trust launches new business service

Pictured at Spoilt Belle Boutique in Magherafelt are its owner Rachel Shivers with Richard Ennis (First Trust Bank)

FIRST Trust has become the first of the north's main big banks to commit to making decisions on new business loans and overdraft requests up to £25,000 within just 48 hours.

It says its decision comes on the back of an increased confidence from the region's growing micro and small business community and the need for companies to move quickly to avail of opportunities.

“With more than 118,000 SME businesses active in Northern Ireland, the ability to support their ambitions - and deliver swift loan decisions - is vital to growing our economy as a whole," said Richard Ennis, director of business and corporate banking at First Trust Bank.

"As well as those in the retail industry, businesses working in the agri, hospitality and service sector often experience seasonal fluctuations and need access to finance to avail of new opportunities.

"From working with a diverse range of start-up, micro and small businesses, we know first-hand the flexible and innovative approach they take to growth and we are delighted to bring forward this ‘48 hour decision' commitment," he added.

Among the first to benefit from the quick access to finance is Spoilt Belle Boutique, a clothing outlet aimed at fashion forward women, which has just opened its second store in Coleraine.

Set to create seven jobs through the expansion, Spoilt Belle Boutique already employs 11 staff with premises in Magherafelt as well as a popular online shop.

Its owner and founder Rachel Shivers (26) said: “Given the fast-paced nature of fashion retail, it's essential that businesses like mine have access to a flexible cash flow or we risk losing out on opportunities.

"We were given our decision by First Trust well within the 48 hours which helped accelerate our growth plans so I'm thrilled to open our new store and create jobs in the local area."

Open to both new and existing customers, the ‘48 hour decision' commitment follows First Trust Bank's sponsorship of the Business Eye Small Business Awards and its Start-Up Business package which provides owners with the knowledge and expertise needed to grow their business, as well as two years no fee banking transactions.

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