The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) is continuing to support small businesses in the region even in the face of the economic uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
So far this year, £14 million has been invested in 61 businesses across the North, including in Cheshire. The £400 million fund provides a mix of debt, equity and microfinance up to £2 million, and is ‘still very much open for business’ and continuing to invest.
The NPIF’s fund managers, including GC Business Finance, MSIF, Business Enterprise and Finance For Enterprise are also lending through the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, for which they are accredited lenders.
The manufacturing, technology, digital, creative and life sciences industries have seen the most benefit from NPIF investment which totals over £162 million since 2017. A total of 601 businesses across Northern England have received financing, which has also helped secure £167 million in investment from the private sector.
Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank, said:
Small businesses are facing unprecedented economic circumstances, so it is great to see that our fund is stepping up to the challenge of supporting them during this difficult time. We have been impressed by the response from all of our Fund Managers who are working hard to ensure local businesses can access vital funding, including from the CBILS, whilst also helping those companies that have already had NPIF funding.
“Although we’re now in a very different business environment, NPIF remains open for business, and will continue to make investments.”
The NPIF was launched in 2017 by the British Business Bank using funding from the European Regional Development Fund, HM Government and the European Investment Bank. The fund forms a key part of the British Business Banks’ objective to help reduce regional funding disparities and encourage economic prosperity in the North of England.
NPIF works with 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), Combined Authorities and fund managers to provide microfinance, debt and equity finance to businesses across the North West, Yorkshire and Humber and Tees Valley regions.
The funding options include microfinance between £25,000 and £100,000, debt finance between £100,000 and £750,000 and equity finance up to £2m.
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
Image: L-R: Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank with Roger Marsh, OBE DL, Chairman of NPIF Strategic Oversight Board, Chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Chair of the NP11. The photo was taken before social distancing measures came into operation.