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First Minister supports business fund

Local Authorities across the east of Scotland have acknowledged the First Minister’s support for a new East of Scotland Investment Fund (ESIF). The new fund could help create up to 1600 new jobs and generate an additional £43m turnover across the small to medium-sized enterprise sector.

The £5million investment fund will enable more than 540 east of Scotland growth businesses to access loans of up to £50k, contributing significantly to the development and sustainability of innovative and enterprising businesses within the small to medium-sized enterprise sector.

The initial £5m investment was secured through a £2m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) contribution and a £3m investment from an East of Scotland local authority partnership comprising Fife, Angus, City of Edinburgh, Dundee, Falkirk, Midlothian, Moray, Perth & Kinross, and West Lothian Councils. The revolving nature of the fund will help to ensure its sustainability as successive generations of borrowers meet their debt obligations.

Administration of the fund through start-up and development is being carried out by Fife Council’s Economic Development Team. Going forward the management of the fund will rest with a competitively commissioned Fund Manager. The independent fund company will be managed by a Board of Directors comprising one representative from each of the member local authorities.

Cllr. Peter Grant, Leader of the Administration, Fife Council, commented: “The East of Scotland Investment Fund and the Fund Company are excellent news for Fife and for small to medium-sized enterprises across the east of Scotland. They are the building blocks of the Scottish economy and this decision sends out a clear and positive message of support for Scotland’s entrepreneurs and business-people. The ESIF will make a real and measurable difference to businesses by helping to ensure that those who need financial assistance have access to the finance and the support that they need to operate, innovate and prosper.”

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