The British Business Bank has named Wolverhampton as the top local authority in the West Midlands for its Start Up Loans programme.
The city has seen start-up businesses successfully draw down 464 loans since 2012, worth £3.3million.
Louise McCoy, commercial director at Start Up Loans, said: “It’s wonderful to see Wolverhampton recognised in the West Midlands for its contribution to entrepreneurship.
“I’m always inspired by the stories of small business owners who have used the Start Up Loans programme to take the leap into business ownership.
“The West Midlands has an ever-growing pool of diverse small businesses and I’m pleased to see that, with the help of Start Up Loans, they’re able to access the finance they need to grow and contribute to the local economy.”
City of Wolverhampton Council, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor Stephen Simkins, said: “These are incredibly difficult times for our small businesses, and we are constantly looking at new ways we can support them and help them through the current economic crisis.
“It is encouraging to see this level of support from the private sector in the city – and with over 95% of Wolverhampton’s business base being small businesses it is vital start-ups are able to access this type of support.
“Our small businesses deliver many different services and products across a range of business sectors, including manufacturing, construction, retail, professional service and digital. We are proud of our independent businesses and the creative local people behind them. They are businesses that help give Wolverhampton its own identity and character.
“We officially opened, in partnership with the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and University of Wolverhampton, our Business Workspace and Start-up Centre, IGNITE, in July to join up the business support infrastructure with partners in the city and I would urge start-ups to make it their first port of call. Businesses are finding it tough out there, so it’s important not only that they have a good start but can also be supported to thrive and grow.”
IGNITE provides free co-working and meeting space, events, training – virtual and physical – and support to inspire start-ups and business growth – and help access funding such as British Business Bank Start Up Loans.
IGNITE is located in ground floor units 3 and 4 of the Council’s i10 office and retail complex at the heart of the city centre’s £150million award-winning transport Interchange. For more information, visit www.ignitehub.co.uk