West Lothian ranks top for successful Start Up Loans applications in Scotland
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Analysis released by the British Business Bank to mark the beginning of Business Finance Week found that entrepreneurs aged 65 and under in West Lothian secured 279 loans from its Start Up Loans programme, giving it the highest loan-to-adult population rate in Scotland – at 2.4 per 1,000 – since the scheme began in 2012.
Clackmannanshire and the Highland local authority area came joint second with a loan rate of 2.3, placing both ahead of Scotland’s cities and larger council areas. Owners of smaller businesses in Edinburgh had the fifth-highest loans per 1,000 adults at 2.1, but received the highest amount of lending at £8.29m.
The British Business Bank is hosting Business Finance Week 2022 aimed at helping smaller businesses learn about different finance options available. Louise McCoy, commercial director of the organisation’s Start Up Loans arm, said: “It is great to see regions in Scotland, like West Lothian and Clackmannanshire, with a mix of rural and urban areas featuring at the top of the list for Start Up Loans given, weighted according to local authority population size.
"West Lothian, particularly in and around Livingston, has a rich ecosystem of ambitious smaller businesses and it is highly encouraging that they are accessing finance to support their plans for growth... Our previous research has pointed to distance from finance centres being a significant challenge. Business Finance Week is about making businesses-owners aware of the many options available to them.”