The media recently highlighted the work of local entrepreneur and self-made millionaire, Dave Fishwick. Dave owns and runs a minibus firm from Burnley, Lancashire. When banks stopped lending Dave’s customers money, he saw a real problem in his future “The lending dried up almost overnight,’ he says ‘It was killing their businesses and damaging mine.”
And so Dave went into the credit business, lending money to local small businesses such as catering equipment suppliers, florists and hundreds more. Since September 2011, only one client has defaulted on a payment and there’s a waiting list for investors.
In tough economic times, folks like Dave Fishwick are helping UK small business owners to make the most of their business ideas. Despite a government push promising more support for small business, it’s still numbingly difficult for many small business owners to access funding from the big banks. An £80 billion scheme to boost lending in the UK seems contradictory to a report published by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) that British banks are currently turning down four in ten small business loan applicants, hampering economic recovery.
So what can someone like the local caterer looking to invest in new catering supplies really do? According to Dave Fishwick, small businesses need community support. Community investment from local business owners (like Dave) could help small businesses grow without the constraints of big bank funding and restrictions.
According to Dave, banking isn’t ‘rocket science’ and simply requires good personal values, business acumen and flexibility.