Bank releases £250m to support SMEs in Northern Ireland

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HSBC has launched a £15bn UK loan fund for small and medium-sized businesses, with £250m earmarked specifically to support job opportunities and drive growth in Northern Ireland.

The fund is a key part of the lender’s commitment to helping UK businesses innovate, thrive and grow nationally and internationally.

It also includes specific funding for companies trading internationally (£2bn), in the agriculture sector (£1.2bn), the technology sector (£500m) and for franchise businesses. (£500 million).

It is also aligned with the Green SME Fund (£500m) for businesses of all sizes to transition and thrive in a low carbon economy and the new Growth Lending Fund (£250m). sterling) for high-growth technology companies to support high, well-capitalized growth. , loss-making scale-ups at the start of their growth journey.

Since the launch of the SME Fund in 2014, HSBC – which has 24,000 staff and serves 14.75million customers across the UK – has lent more than £90bn.

Recipients previously included Mash Direct, the Comber-based processed vegetable company.

With seven-figure funding from HSBC UK, the sixth-generation family business has made a bespoke on-farm production facility more environmentally friendly. It was also able to hire 12 new employees and increase training to develop staff.

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said: “This new fund puts HSBC on track to have lent more than £100bn to UK small businesses in a decade, which is a significant milestone.

“The additional funding builds on support available through government programs such as Help to Grow and Start Up Loans to help small businesses grow and reach their full potential.”

Small Business Commissioner Liz Barclay added: “The challenges facing small businesses are beyond imagination. Problems caused by poor payment practices such as late or delayed payments and extended payment terms strain cash flow.

“Small businesses are the engine of the economy. They need to be paid quickly and fairly, and if they are to have the confidence to invest and build resilience, they will have to weather the storms ahead and they will need the support of funds like this more than ever.

Peter McIntyre, Head of Corporate Banking at HSBC UK, said: “SMEs are vital to the UK economy, and our customers have told us they are ready to invest for growth. The £15bn fund will help businesses expand internationally, as well as in the UK, by supporting key sectors and boosting investment in the regions.

“We want to make a meaningful contribution to economies across the country, boosting jobs, local wealth and growth by providing financing, when and where it’s needed most. We know our customers innovate and adapt to the pace and UK businesses need their bank to be flexible, supporting future growth opportunities.

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