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A Birmingham precision engineering company, which specialises in the design and manufacture of safety critical products for the marine industry, has won a string of naval contracts thanks to support from the new Birmingham Small Business Loan Fund (BSBLF).
The BSBLF, which is administered by ART Business Loans and supported by Birmingham City Council, Thin Cats peer lending platform and Unity Trust bank, provides loans of between £10,000 and £100,000 for small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) in Birmingham that are unable to obtain any or all of the finance they need from high street banks.
KPM Marine was able to use a BSBLF loan to provide working capital to help it take advantage of growth opportunities presented by recent shifts in the value of sterling.
“We can find ourselves competing with some of the world’s largest manufacturers,” says Julian Morgan, Joint Managing Director of KPM Marine, “and we win contracts because we offer a unique product, or the best quality, or because we have the capacity to design and innovate quickly to create something which precisely meets a customer’s needs. 95% of our supply chain is based in Birmingham, which is not only good for the local economy, but it also gives us greater flexibility, faster response times and better control over quality than sourcing products and materials from the Far East.”
Julian’s business partner, Joint Managing Director John Key adds: “We moved into the marine sector around 15 years ago and have developed our product range to include bilge pumps, engine reventilation systems, shock-mitigating seating systems and interior fit out modules. We are delighted to have won naval contracts on both sides of the Atlantic and in Europe. Our latest success is as part of the supply chain providing a fleet of up to 38 workboats to support the Royal Navy’s new flagship carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.”
Birmingham City Council interim leader Ian Ward comments: “This is exactly what the Birmingham Small Business Loan Fund is about. Companies like KPM Marine have underpinned the Birmingham economy for generations but find it increasingly difficult to borrow money.
“Given the right support, our SMEs will create jobs and opportunities and I’m confident that the likes of KPM Marine will grow from strength to strength.”
Steve Walker, Chief Executive of ART Business Loans says: “KPM Marine is a good example of the type of business we are here to support – innovative and dynamic small to medium sized enterprises which are the lifeblood of the local economy, but which struggle to access finance from the banks.”
The BSBLF aims to lend £3m to Birmingham business over three years. To apply go to www.artbusinessloans.co.uk or call ART on 0121 359 2444.
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