The year ahead is likely to bring more than the usual challenges to businesses in the West Midlands, but whatever happens ART Business Loans (ART) has money ready to lend, thanks in part to the success of its recent pioneering share offer, which closed at the end of March.

The share offer raised over £250,000 from individual investors, who will earn Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR) over the next five years, whilst their money – distributed in business loans – helps to boost the local economy.  5% of the sum invested can be claimed as a deduction from Income Tax or Corporation Tax bills each year for five tax years.

The money from the share offer will be used to leverage additional funding, bringing the total ART has to lend in 2019/20 close to £3m.

“We have been here for over 21 years,” says Dr Steve Walker, Chief Executive of ART Business Loans, “lending to viable businesses unable to access the finance they need from the banks. When the going gets tough, we are needed more than ever, and have a track record of helping SMEs to continue trading through loss of customers or markets, as well as glitches in cashflow.  In the short term that has protected thousands of jobs and in the longer term helped to create thousands more around the West Midlands.”

Building on the success of this year’s offer, ART is planning to provide a further opportunity for investors through the leading positive investment platform Ethex using CITR in the tax year 2019/20.

“We are appreciative of those individuals who choose to invest their money to help us achieve our mission to ensure that businesses with viable plans can access the finance they need,” says Steve.  “Our aim is inclusive growth.  Interestingly, throughout our history it has not only been local people who have invested in us to support the West Midlands, but people from all over the UK.”

In the year ahead Steve says the ART team is looking forward to helping businesses of all kinds – from restaurants to providers of hi-tech solutions, manufacturers to facilities managers – to survive and thrive.  “We offer loans of between £10,000 and £150,000, with an average loan size of £35,000,” he says.  “That is a sum which many businesses struggle to access from elsewhere.”

Find out more about ART loans and investment opportunities at or call 0121 359 2444.