ART's objective is to provide finance to businesses and social enterprises that need funding to grow, but which are unable to access that funding from the banks – either at all, or in full. The aim is to enable businesses to support local employment and boost the local economy.
Founded in 1997, ART has been lending successfully to small businesses and social enterprises, including those in underserved areas and communities, ever since. Through its work, ART continues to address the lending gap left by the high street lenders.
ART lends between £10,000 and £150,000, to enterprises operating in any sector, for any legitimate business purpose. It's average loan size is £35,000.
Often lending alongside the banks and other financers as part of a package of finance, ART will signpost to other sources of finance as necessary to help businesses access the most appropriate sources of finance for their needs.
For all loans above £25,000 security from the borrower is sought. If security is not available certain loans can be provided subject to the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme (EFG), which provides cover to lenders for losses of up to 15% on an annual loan book.
Interest charged on a loan from ART ranges from 9.25% over Bank of England base rate to 18% over base and the current average is 13.5% over a term of 54 months. The interest rate charged to an enterprise reflects the considered level of risk involved in investing in it.
ART is designed to take a greater risk than the banks. Therefore they experience write-off rates that are typically higher than the banks’. For forecasting purposes they work to an average rate of 16%, which has been their experience over the last five years.
The Ethex team are here to help from 9am to 5pm
01865 403 304