The North East longest-standing business investor is looking to expand the number of regional firms with which it works after becoming an accredited provider for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

NEL Fund Managers has been accredited by the British Business Bank to provide loans of up to £250,000 to regional businesses that have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The loans complement the growth capital investments that NEL already makes across Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland from the two elements of the £120m North East Fund that it manages – the £9m North East Small Loan Fund and the £18m North East Growth Capital Fund.

Over the coming months, NEL can provide loans under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme in conjunction with its usual Growth Capital and Small Loan Fund lending activity, which will continue until 2023.

NEL also recently doubled the maximum investment amount available from the North East Small Loan Fund to £100,000 in response to the impact of Covid-19 and the resulting increased growth capital needs of many SMEs.

Dr Yvonne Gale, chief executive at NEL Fund Managers, says: “Many regional firms are understandably very cash conscious at the moment and are looking for ways in which to strengthen their cashflow situations.

“At the same time, there will still be any number of strong business ideas out there that have the potential to succeed in the future, even in what’s certain to be a tough economic climate.

“CBILS funding can provide additional financial flexibility for businesses which might not otherwise have qualified for the investments that we provide, and will also enable them to access the advice and guidance provided by our expert team to all our investees both as they develop their applications and after they’ve received their investments.

“We’re keen to take this opportunity to talk to regional firms that haven’t previously considered bringing in outside investment to help them grow and to outline the impact that our investments have made on the performance of dozens of firms we’ve previously backed.

“We’re grateful for the support of the North East Fund in backing our CBILS application and look forward to playing an even greater role in the regional economy’s recovery from the impact of the pandemic.”

Jason Hobbs, chief executive at the North East Fund, adds: “Now more than ever, it is important that North East companies can access the funding necessary to support their growth plans and we are therefore delighted that the North East Fund can now offer CBILS loans via NEL Fund Managers.”

For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0845 111 1850.