Sunderland-based ‘Doggy Day Camp’ and grooming parlour Woofs n Scruffs has secured a £14,000 loan via the Finance for Business North East Microloan Fund. Managed by regional Fund Managers Rivers Capital Partners, the Fund enables small businesses to access the money needed to start-up or grow.
Based in the Hesledon Industrial Estate in Seaham, Woofs n Scruffs caters for all canine needs in a fun, safe environment. The business offers traditional dog grooming services mixed with luxury day care amenities. While grooming is an important part of the health care routine, Woofs n Scruffs also offers a range of rehabilitation facilities for pups with medical conditions provided by the hydrotherapy area available on site.
The owner Mark Brown has over 7 years’ experience in the pet care industry prior to founding Woofs n Scruffs. He oversees all operational, client and marketing activities for the business. Mark started the venture with his sister who is a fully qualified dog grooming professional, she performs all grooming services and oversees the day-to- day running of the business.
Mark first heard about the Microloan Fund through his Business Support Advisor at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC). Commenting on the investment process he said, “Without the help of River Capital I would never have been able to do this. The process was so straight forward, simple and the staff were very helpful and supportive.
“The business has grown enormously since April, we have now introduced dog training classes and are in the process of building an outside paddock for the pups, the next plan is to franchise in the North East and nationally.”
Mark used the funding to finance his start-up costs, as the premises he secured needed a full re-fit to provide the range of crèche, grooming and rehabilitation amenities that the business offers. Mark purchased brand new equipment to pamper the pooches he takes into his care. He also funded his marketing costs to promote the business in the local area and launch his new website.
Rivers Capital Investment Executive James Holloway said, “It is always a pleasure to work with enthusiastic entrepreneurs and it is great to see Mark and his teams' ambitions come to life.”
The North East Microloan Fund provides small businesses in the region with loans from £1,000 up to £50,000. It is aimed at individuals who have a solid business plan, but are unable to secure mainstream funding. The decision to provide a loan is not based on the assets a company may have, but rather the overall quality of the business.