Investment Available for Family Businesses in Cumbria
When the banks can’t help you get an idea off the ground, who do you turn to? In Cumbria we’re lucky enough to have the answer…Enterprise Answers! See what we did there? We caught up Chief Executive Grahame Latus to ask how a family business should go about applying for investment. So Grahame…
What does a successful applicant look like?
It’s all about the P’s
Since 2005, Enterprise Answers has engaged with hundreds of businesses across Cumbria and provided millions of pounds of finance to successful applicants to start, develop or grow their businesses.
With over 50 years of collective banking experience within the team, we had the required lending expertise but we wanted to be ‘different’ and with that in mind, we focussed on delivering a lending model that was totally relationship driven. It had to be a journey the customer enjoyed as much as we did, which laid the foundations for our lending principles to be influenced by people, place, pride and passion which has shaped the relationship lending model we currently utilise.
As a responsible lender, we still undertake the statutory financial assessments to determine affordability and risk, both to us and the borrower, sharing feedback with the applicant as part of our policy of being open, honest and transparent – values which we adhere to rigorously. As a not for profit organisation with no shareholders or ‘fat cats’ on our Board of Directors, we do not need to undertake unnecessarily risky financial transactions to create profit.
That gives us the flexibility to focus on what really matters, which is the people behind the business as these are the decision makers that can make or break the success of the business and nowhere is this more evident than in family businesses, where the 4 ‘P’s of place, people, pride and passion are more evident. Family businesses are more open minded, free thinking, creative, inspiring and innovative – something which many corporate businesses fail to realise from their own employees as their business model is driven by the fifth ‘P’ – profit.
Unleashing potential is something we are good at and we have got behind some great Cumbrian businesses and brands such as cafes, bistros, food producers, micro-breweries, small hotels, guest houses, farmers and professionals with them all having one common thread – they are family businesses and thus most likely to succeed.
We have derived a lot of pleasure over the years from engaging with family businesses and have enjoyed being a part of their journey to success, which is the key reason we are a sponsor of the Cumbria Family Business Awards and an active partner of the Family Business Network. When a hotel business in Windermere which recently repaid their loan and passed us the compliment “thank you for your support, without which we would have gone under, but you believed in us”, we know we’ve got it right.