Merton announces new business loan funds

Two new business loan schemes to help local businesses were launched at a major Merton Council business event yesterday.


L-R: Diane Sterck, chief executive of the Merton Chamber of Commerce, Andrew Wakefield, Cath Harrop- director of Mum2Market, Somayeh Aghnianejad- co founder of Geeks Ltd, John D’Aprano- CEO of DS Systems, Chris Lee- Merton Council’s director of environment and regeneration and Cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge

The Merton Business Loan Fund (MBLF) will provide between £10,000 and £22,000 to eligible small businesses with growth potential and viable business plans. The MBLF scheme will be delivered on behalf of the council by leading business finance and support organisation the Greater London Enterprise.

A Micro Finance Loan Fund (MFLF) was also announced which will offer small loans of between £500 and £10,000 to support entrepreneurs wanting to start up a small business. Some established businesses ready to expand could also benefit from this initiative to help grow or weather the current economic climate. The MFLF will be delivered by leading micro-finance specialists the Fredericks Foundation.

Nearly 200 people, mainly businesses, attended the business event at Wimbledon Studios, including directors of some of Merton’s  leading businesses  such as Geeks Ltd, Mum2Mum Market and DS Systems – all who spoke at the event. The Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis as well as cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge- also spoke at the event.

Other flagship schemes launched on the night included the new Merton Business Support Service (MBSS); a new initiative which provides high quality, practical advice and support to help small businesses and new start- ups to develop and expand. The scheme also includes Shop Front Improvement Grants to improve the look and feel of Merton’s high streets and local parades.

Councillor Alambritis said: “The council is committed to supporting businesses in Merton so they can develop, grow and create new jobs – which is why we are funding business loans and other business support schemes. It will also give business a chance at a time when banks aren’t readily lending to them.  By providing these loans and other business support we will give businesses that are ready to expand the chance to do so”.

“Businesses are vital for job creation in our vibrant local economy. Our Future Merton team provide a range of services, in partnership with Merton Chamber of Commerce to help local businesses who are already established here or who are looking to start up in the borough. “

Somayeh Aghnianejad, co-founder and managing director of Geeks Ltd, an international award-winning software development company, based in Morden said: “As a company with numerous corporate as well as small business clients across the country and Europe – being able to meet clients on a frequent basis is a key to understanding their requirements and success of their projects. Merton provides excellent transport links to enable the company to meet our clients need. On the other hand being able to have a spacious office with a good rate has enabled us to provide an excellent work environment for our staff”