NI Small Business Loan Fund Reaches £ 4 Million Milestone
Irvinestown-based Quintess Denta is one of 148 small businesses in Northern Ireland to have received funding from the Northern Ireland Small Business Loan Fund since 2018, bringing the total allocated funding to over $ 4 million. of pounds sterling.
The fund is managed by Ulster Community Finance Ltd (UCF) on behalf of Invest Northern Ireland and executed in partnership with Enterprise Northern Ireland. UCF is a subsidiary of the social enterprise organization Community Finance Ireland (formerly UCIT Ltd). Small businesses, independent traders and partnerships keen to expand their business can get loans of up to £ 100,000, while start-ups can get upfront loans of up to £ 15,000.
Community Finance Ireland Managing Director Donal Traynor said: “Four million pounds is a milestone in the history of the Fund. The past year has been incredibly difficult for small and medium-sized businesses and we have been very impressed with the way they have adapted their working methods and identified opportunities for diversification.
“Sectors that have benefited from the Fund to date include manufacturing, agribusiness and dental. We look forward to speaking to organizations wishing to explore how financial support of up to £ 100,000 could further their business ambitions. ”
Quintess Denta is a distribution company for the dental sector, established in 2008 as a dental handpiece repair company.
It employs 12 people and owns a sister company, Quoris 3D, specializing in advanced digital technologies. At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the closure of dental offices caused liquidity to dry up almost overnight, so CEO James Hamill and his team had to act quickly to identify new opportunities.
He continued, “The pandemic has created an immediate risk for the future of Quintess Denta and Quoris 3D. We reached out to PPE suppliers in China and Europe with whom we already had relationships and secured a supply chain in Northern Ireland. When the PPE arrived after 12 weeks, we were able to supply the local government organizations, local hospitality and dental businesses that needed it urgently.
“The £ 70,000 funding from NISBLF allowed us to close a gap when cash flow was non-existent and combined with income from the sale of PPE, allowed us to buffer and reinvest in the business. Although it was an extremely stressful time, this activity gave everyone a common goal, brought the team together, making us stronger and better than ever.
“We are now using the Fund to further sustain the business by opening a world-class dental training center in Fermanagh, the LS Browne Center, scheduled to launch in April 2021.”
The NI Small Business Loan Fund is part of the Invest NI Access to Finance line of loan and equity funds. Quintess Denta also received support from Invest NI for the creation of three jobs and the development of its e-commerce site.
Invest NI supported Quoris 3D in creating four jobs and developing the skills of its staff.
William McCulla, Director of Corporate Finance at Invest Northern Ireland, added: “In these unprecedented times, it is encouraging that companies continue to seek opportunities for growth and diversification.
“It is excellent to see that the NI Small Business Loan Fund has been able to assist Quintess Denta, especially as the company has sought to contribute to the larger collective effort through the provision of PPE during the early stages of the pandemic.
“The fund has been instrumental in supporting small businesses that have shown resilience and creativity throughout these difficult times. This is just one example of how the Fund has helped companies here pursue projects that otherwise would not have seen the light of day.
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