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Finance


ART to provide an increase in support


The year ahead is likely to bring more than the usual challenges to businesses in the West Midlands, but whatever happens ART Business Loans (ART) has money ready to lend, thanks in part to the success of its recent pioneering share offer, which closed at the end of March. The share offer raised more than £250,000 from individual investors,


who will earn Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR) during the next five years, while their money – distributed in the form of business loans – helps to boost the local economy.


‘When the going gets tough, we are needed more than ever’


Five per cent of the sum invested can be


claimed as a deduction from Income Tax or Corporation Tax bills each year for five tax years. The money from the share offer will be used to leverage additional


funding, bringing the total ART has to lend in 2019/20 close to £3m. ART chief executive Dr Steve Walker (pictured) said: “We have been


here for over 21 years, lending to viable businesses unable to access the finance they need from the banks. “When the going gets tough, we are needed more than ever, and


have a track record of helping SMEs to continue trading through loss of customers or markets, as well as glitches in cashflow. “In the short term that has protected thousands of jobs and in the


longer term helped to create thousands more around the West Midlands.” Building on the success of this year’s offer, ART is planning to provide


a further opportunity for investors through investment platform Ethex, using CITR in the tax year 2019/20.


Sector Focus


Brindley-based bank enjoys rise in profits


Unity Trust, a commercial bank based in Brindley (formerly Brindleyplace), has announced a 68 per cent increase in profits. In 2018, Unity approved more


than £200m of lending to firms and projects that will deliver community, economic or environmental benefits. This is a record-breaking


performance for the bank, which has seen its lending almost double since 2015. Unity chief executive Margaret


Willis said: “Unity’s results confirm that profits and community value go hand-in-hand. It’s best for our shareholders, our customers, our employees and society. “Unity’s growth shows businesses


want an ethical alternative, a bank that shares their values.” Unity Trust attracted new capital


in 2018 from existing shareholders and a new investor ‘Sustainability, Finance, Real Economies’ (SFRE). The investment will help Unity Trust propel its plans for further growth. Alan Hughes, chairman of Unity


Trust, said: “Sustainable earnings and sustainable communities are one and the same in the long run.


Margaret Willis: Profit and ‘community value’ go hand-in-hand


“This strong performance reflects


the role banking can and should play in building a more sustainable world. Everyone at Unity is determined to deliver more and more of this.” For more than 30 years the bank


has worked with a number organisations and SMEs offering a full range of banking services including current accounts, savings accounts, and loans.


How can you use the Selina Business Loan?


• Consolidate business debt


• Overcome working capital difficulties


• Finance business expansion


How does the Selina Business Loan work?


The Selina Business Loan is a second charge on your residential property. The loan amount is dependent on a maximum loan-to-value ratio granted to the borrower and the underlying value of the property set by Selina or an external appraiser.


Borrow up to £200,000 with rates starting at 4.95%


The loan beneficiary of the Selina Business Loan is the homeowner; the loan must be used for business purposes.


27 Old Gloucester Street • London •WC1N 3AX T: 020 8133 0157


E: info@selinafinance.co.ukW: www.selinafinance.co.uk DISCLAIMER: YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP


UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT. May 2019 CHAMBERLINK 75


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