Keep Calm Couriers in Chepstow has received a £10,000 loan from the Development Bank of Wales to increase its operation throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe.
Neale Parker set up Keep Calm Couriers as a sole trader in April 2017. The company now delivers everything from sensitive confidential documents to larger perishable foods that need transporting in controlled conditions.
Neale applied for a fast-track loan through the Development Bank to help him keep pace with the growth in his business. Since receiving the loan, he has been able to buy more vans, to take on new freelance drivers and recruit additional members of staff to meet the demand for his services.
Last year, the Development Bank introduced several improvements to make it easier for businesses to get the finance they need, offering a quick, simplified service that allows them to unlock much needed investment for start-up costs, such as covering capital expenditure and stock purchases.
Fast-track loans are available for businesses that have been trading for two years or more and come with less paperwork and faster decision making, with some decisions being made in 48 hours.
Neale said: “For many businesses, especially small ones, ensuring significant cash-flow can be the hardest part. The investment from the Development Bank enabled me to expand from a one man – one van business to five vans and additional drivers in a few months. I was also able to hire a part-time accountant and launch a new and improved website.
“These additional resources meant I was taken off the road to focus on winning new business and growing my customer base.
“The micro loan process was very simple and efficient. With the help of the Development Bank Investment Executive, I was able to identify which package would be best for my needs which put me at ease.”
Emily Wood, Investment Executive at the Development Bank of Wales said: “This is a great example of the fast-track loan helping local independent traders realise their potential. The investment for Neale has had a great impact on his business already by creating employment opportunities and increasing the fleet at Keep Calm Couriers.”
The £16.2m Wales Micro Loan Fund, backed by the Welsh Government, provides micro loans from as little as £1,000 up to £50,000 and is targeted at small businesses, sole traders and social enterprises based in Wales.