The Development Bank of Wales has released figures showing record investment in SMEs in West Wales.
Loans and equity totaling £21.3 million benefited 72 businesses across Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot in 2018 generating £33.1 million private sector leverage across the region. This compares to £11.6 million in 2017.
Regional Manager Alun Thomas said: “Despite the continuing uncertainty surrounding Brexit, we had a record number of enquiries during 2018 from start-ups and SME established businesses looking for loans or equity up to £5 million.
“Investment totaling £21.3 million was awarded to 72 businesses proving that there is still plenty of appetite for growth in this region; in fact, that’s almost double the £11.6 million in 2017.”
Those to benefit in 2018 include Wales’ only independent oil company Oil4Wales who had a £350,000 loan to fund the development of the Nantycaws filling station. £200,000 was awarded to Dafen based DRL Partitions and £1.5 million for Britain’s first independent tyre comparison website Motokiki.
Alun Thomas continued: “Access to finance makes a big difference to growth and sustainability which is why we continue to work hard to help local businesses to thrive. From the purchase of stock and new equipment, new premises, management buy-outs or acquisitions, owner managers want a commercial approach to investment that is tailored to meet their needs. The breadth of funding that we can provide ranges from micro loans of £1,000 to equity of up to £5 million; there really is something for everyone.
“Simple and quick decision making processes coupled with our presence on the ground has certainly helped to boost the level of enquiries with business owners telling us that they value our face to face approach. From entrepreneurs seeking funding for start-ups to established businesses looking to take the next step, we are keen to make sure that 2019 is another bumper year.”
The Development Bank of Wales has a team of eight based in Dafen, Llanelli. This includes newly appointed Clare Sullivan who has joined from HSBC as an Investment Executive. Along with Property Development Executive Alwyn Thomas and Assistant Investment Executive Ashley Jones.