Business

New £100m HSBC fund to help small businesses achieve their potential

Co Antrim business Hannon Transport benefited from last year's HSBC fund. Pictured are Adrian Hannon (left) and Aodh Hannon (right) from the business with Chris McQuay from HSBC
Gareth McKeown

A £100 million lending fund has been set up to support the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Northern Ireland.

The new fund launched by international bank HSBC is aimed at start-ups to established businesses and is part of a wider £10 billion fund for SMEs across the UK.

Last year the bank approved 91 per cent of small business lending applications and is committed to helping local businesses fulfil their potential.

HSBC area director Nial Douglas said the fund was a way to support the ambition of businesses in the north and grow exports.

“We have so many ambitious businesses in our region who are keen to grow locally, nationally and internationally. This fund is all about helping those businesses make investments that will enable them to achieve their goals while stimulating our local economy and creating jobs.”

Amanda Murphy, head of commercial banking at HSBC UK said the new fund represented an opportunity for local businesses.

“HSBC can provide access to new trading networks for businesses of all sizes, help them to understand how they can consider exporting with confidence, and has the expertise to help businesses navigate change by being responsive, flexible and nimble.”

Co Antrim-based Hannon Transport Ltd is one of the many firms in Northern Ireland to secure funding from HSBC.

Hannon embarked on a diversification programme, creating a new steel distribution enterprise following a £5 million finance package. This allowed the distribution business to purchase an international warehouse in Dublin, new office space in Aghalee and embark on a major tractor and trailer fleet replacement programme.

A major focus of this year's fund is to encourage small businesses to feel confident about exploring opportunities for export. A 2016 FSB Report noted that one-in-five small businesses currently export, but there is potential to double this figure with the right support.

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