Skan Petcare Ltd, a distributor of animal feeds based in Tebay, are the first business to take advantage of the Eden Business Support Fund, which offers loans between £10,000 and £100,000 for qualifying businesses in Eden District.
The loans are funded from a £500k pot of money created from an equal partnership between Eden District Council and Enterprise Answers, a Community Development Finance Institution who assist businesses who have struggled to obtain finance from mainstream lenders. Eden District Council’s contribution comes from central government, allowing the Council to keep a portion of the Business Rates collected in Eden to promote local economic growth in the area.
Skan Petcare started in 1990 as distributors for Hill’s Pet Nutrition and in 1992 grew from a home office to a warehouse and office in Tebay. As well as acting as a fulfilment company for Hill’s, Skan Petcare expanded their range in 2002 and now also act as importers and distributors for Hokamix nutritional supplements.
The company has grown to employ nine staff alongside two directors who are mainly based in Tebay and Orton. Their website www.skanpetcare.co.uk allows orders for home delivery anywhere in the UK for both pet owners and professional users and they also maintain a physical presence by attending shows throughout the country.
As a company relying heavily on their online presence, the news that their existing software would no longer be supported from July meant they needed to find funding to upgrade their IT equipment and install new software in order to continue trading. After no success with mainstream lenders, Skan Petcare consulted with Finance Connect, a business finance company based at Brougham Hall in Penrith, to see if there were any other options. Finance Connect referred them to Enterprise Answers to see if they could help.
Grahame Latus, Chief Executive of Enterprise Answers said: “The Eden Business Support Fund is designed to create employment or safeguard jobs at risk and it is a great pleasure to be of assistance to help safeguard nine local jobs in Eden. On top of this, the requirement to learn the new software and systems will help upskill, train and develop Skan Petcare’s employees which is another important output of the fund.”
Christine Lowe, Director of Skan Petcare Ltd, said: “Once we approached Enterprise Answers the process was straightforward, they assessed our case in a personal manner with local knowledge about the area and a real understanding of the value of our jobs.”
Councillor David Hymers MBE, Economic Development Portfolio Holder for Eden District Council, said: “Accessing finance can be the lifeblood for any businesses and I delighted to see that the Eden Business Support Fund has helped to secure nine jobs at Tebay and upskill the workforce. I hope more local companies can take advantage of this support if they are unable to get the vital funding they need from mainstream lenders.”
Any Eden businesses interested in applying for the Eden Business Support Fund should contact Enterprise Answers telephone: 01768 867118 or visit www.enterpriseanswers.co.uk.