The British Business Bank, the UK’s national business development bank, and the Start Up Loans Company, a government-backed scheme supporting microbusinesses with access to finance, will merge from today after both boards ratified the joint decision.
The merger enables both organisations to collaborate as they seek to support microbusinesses and deliver the Government’s manifesto commitment of 75,000 Start-Up Loans by 2020. It brings several advantages to both organisations; including sharing of expertise, clarity for the small business community and the opportunity to combine approaches used for supporting smaller businesses.
The British Business Bank and the Start Up Loans Company have been working closely since 2014. During this period, the Bank has been providing advice to Government on the Start Up Loans programme’s funding, objectives and performance, and overseeing the programme on its behalf.
There will be a transition period until 1 July, during which time operations will be brought together. Both the Bank and Start Up Loans Company (SULCo) will stay in their current offices and retain all existing branding with no changes to frontline services.
The announcement comes just as SULCo’s total lending figure surpasses £300million this week, after co-founders of The Oystermen, Matt Lovell and Rob Hampton, secured the programme’s 46,400th loan to fund the opening of their first oyster restaurant in Covent Garden. The initiative has supported an average of 11,200 loans a year since its inception in 2012.