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Funding to help expansion.

FUNDING is still available to help Huddersfield firms grow - despite the credit crunch.

Regional development agency Yorkshire Forward said two major regional funds were continuing to make investments in firms which are looking to expand into new markets and which are ineligible for funding through traditional routes.

Partnership Investment Finance (PIF) has almost pounds 11m of its pounds 37m funding pot available for investment before the end of 2008.

It covers parts of North, West and East Yorkshire, together with Hull and North and North East Lincolnshire, PIF can help firms looking for loans and investment ranging from pounds 3,000 to pounds 1.5m.

It has so far assisted 440 small and medium-sized companies ranging from ones employing a handful of people tomajor business wi th more than 200 employees.

Businesses backed by PIF in recent months include Milnsbridge-based Lazarus Mobility, which received pounds 20,000 to create a website and set up a showroom to display its range of products for people with mobility problems.

Batley-based shopfitting firm Sandoms received a pounds 100,000 loan from PIF to support its expansion plans following a management buy-out.

The second fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Fund, has invested more than pounds 50m in businesses and now has almost pounds 10mto invest until the end of the year.

AlexMcWhirter, head of enterprise at Yorkshire Forward, said: "In the current economic climate, businesses are finding it harder to raise the finance they need to expand or enter new markets.

"Our job is not to step on the toes of the traditional finance market, but to address the gaps they are unable to fill."
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jul 21, 2008
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