A local sports equipment business has gained a £20,000 loan from the Finance for Business North East Microloan Fund, a regional loan scheme managed by Rivers Capital Partners. It provides small businesses with micro loans to fund their big ideas.
GAC Sports is a wholesaler of fitness, mixed martial arts and other combat sports products based in Newcastle upon Tyne. It is the counterpart business to commercial online retailer Fightstore Pro. The company also supplies clothes, protective gear and nutritional supplements, providing businesses such as gyms with everything they need to run everyday.
Director Alex Wright at GAC Sports started the company in late 2014, splitting up his original business Fightstore Pro into wholesale and retail divisions. This was to ensure that he had a clearer business strategy and to make the ordering process easier.
Alex was recommended the Microloan by his bank manager, who could not offer him a business loan. Remarking on the difficult financial climate, Alex stated “There are thousands of businesses like me who are unable to get mainstream funding to expand.”
He was glad that he decided to follow his bank’s advice, adding that the process of receiving a loan was “Simple, helpful and refreshing.” He also commented on the friendliness of the River’s staff that assisted him in securing the loan.
Alex felt like he had made the right decision by applying to the Fund, as the finance enabled him to open up a management role in another company and generating employment.
Alex will use the Microloan in a number of different ways to grow his new company. The majority of the cash boost will be used to fund the purchase of essential stock. However, some will be used for utilities, like any start up business.
With the loan’s assistance, Alex envisages his company expanding its customer base substantially. He wants to sell American sports products on an agency basis in the European market.
Nikita Bazko, Fund Manager at Rivers Capital, was enthusiastic about the recent investment, saying: “Alex is immensely experienced and as an ex- MMA fighter he knows the industry inside out.
“The cash investment from the Microloan Fund with help him achieve his vision of becoming the go-to wholesaler for sports retailers within a matter of years”.
The North East Microloan Fund provides loans of £1,000-£25,000 that make a big difference to businesses in the region. The Fund is ideal for inspired individuals who know that lack of finance is the missing link that is holding their business back.
The Fund is specifically aimed at businesses that have struggled to secure mainstream finance and can provide affordable credit for those with a poor credit history. A loan fund run by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, the decision to provide a loan is not based on the assets a company has but rather the overall quality of the business. This makes for a speedy, hassle-free application process, guided by professionals every step of the way.