Bristol Pound bosses say the launch of a new loan scheme will not only help independent businesses grow, but also feed the city’s circular economy.
The organisation is offering members the opportunity to apply for interest-free finance, thanks to a partnership with Bristol Credit Union.
Launching as a pilot initially, the aim is to provide loans that meet the needs of local businesses and aid their expansion, while also increasing the use of Bristol Pounds in the economy.
Diana Finch, managing director of Bristol Pound, said: “Taking out a loan is an opportunity to invest in growing your business.
“Taking out that loan in Bristol Pounds does something extra – it helps ensure the money stays in the Bristol Pound network, creating sales opportunities for other local businesses like yours – and in turn potentially being re-spent with your own business in the future.
“By spending Bristol Pounds, you become a part of a strong and supportive business network, in turn helping the local economy to be more resilient and inclusive.”
Loans are interest-free for the businesses that borrow. The cost is covered through a ‘finder’s fee’ – a five per cent transaction charge levied on all payments from the loan account to the members who benefit from the extra business generated through the loan.
Any business member of the Bristol Pound that has been trading for two or more years and has a turnover of £25,000+ per annum will be eligible to borrow between 1,000 and 15,000 Bristol Pounds from Bristol Credit Union.
The loan can be spent on anything from marketing, printing and equipment, to vehicles, business services and more.
For the pilot, a small number of limited scale loans of up to 15,000 Bristol Pounds will be offered to qualifying members.