The Glasgow-based alternative finance provider said it was supporting businesses north of the border during the pandemic by continuing to provide loans to start-up and growing businesses “who would typically not be able to access sources traditional financing.
Between July 2020 and June 2021, DSL provided loans to around 200 start-ups and growth businesses in Scotland. The average loan size rose to £28,539, an increase of more than £8,000 on the previous year.
“Essentially, this funding has supported 1,020 jobs and created 211,” the organization added, saying it was providing a “much needed” boost to Scotland’s economy.
DSL added that overall growth over the past five years has seen it increase its loan size by more than £5m, with double the number of loans issued each month compared to 2016.
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In addition to its own funding of £5.6m from 199 investments in Scotland, DSL has leveraged £3.42m in co-funding from the private sector and a further £140,000 from the public sector.
In September 2020, experienced vehicle body expert Derek Rae approached DSL for loan funding to help start Stirling Bodyshop, with the aim of offering vehicle repair and painting services to private businesses and commercial.
DSL gave him a business loan of £25,000, which was used to finance the costs of setting up the move to the premises and to pay for marketing materials for the initial launch. Mr Rae has been able to grow Stirling Bodyshop over the past year, securing a steady and consistent clientele.
Stuart Yuill, Executive Director of DSL, said: “During these unprecedented times, we have remained open for business and are proud to have been able to provide a lifeline to many customers.
“We see ourselves as having a vital role to play in supporting the Scottish economy to maximize growth opportunities as we recover from Covid-19. In particular, we are delighted that our work has enabled 1,020 people to keep their jobs and provided new job opportunities for another 211 people.
“Throughout the past year, we have provided new loans to many deserving businesses that are very unlikely to have received funding elsewhere, especially in the current climate. It’s incredibly impressive how these companies have adapted and diversified their offerings, in many cases improving beyond their original ideas.
“We continue to build on the banner year we had in 2020/21, providing loans to organizations and entrepreneurs who would otherwise struggle to start a new business or keep their existing business afloat in the climate. current.”
Since April 2020, DSL has implemented process changes to overcome the logistical challenges encountered as a result of Covid-19, including developing technology to enable documentation to be completed online.
It also integrated with the Start-up Loan Company’s Atlas system to allow new customers to apply for loans online, which has now become an ongoing practice. The lender also offered customers payment holidays or reductions and continued support from loan officers during the peak of restrictions.