Start-Up Finance


Whatever your business – start-up or SME, growing or diversifying – you need money to make things happen. And you need to have a plan for keeping money available in your business too.

One of the main reasons for business failure is not because it was a bad business, but because it ran out of money. Given that approximately 49% of new businesses fail in their first three years, it’s worth spending time before you start, doing research and obtaining expert advice. Gone are the days when a business loan from the bank or a start-up grant from your local Growth Hub was the only option.

As the saying goes, there are plenty more fish in the sea and, at CBASS, we recognise that most start-up business owners need a guide through this particular financial minefield.

  • There could be national government start-up grants and development loans that apply to your business sector. The CBASS website has the links and clarity that you need and then our CBASS experts can explain the options, explore the pros and cons and help you find the best small business funding options for your business.
  • There may well be specialist tax rebate schemes for research and development (R&D) costs or other business investments. It’s worth exploring these with an experienced advisor. You need a guide who knows the ins and outs of each scheme, understands how HMRC handles R&D claims and can explain the implications and benefits.

And, as we learnt through the COVID pandemic in 2020, in an emergency, small business grant funding, loans and support come in all shapes and sizes. It pays to understand what financial support is available to your business. Whether you’re a start-up or an established company, don’t miss opportunities to access start-up loans or grants. It is also crucial to understand and plan for paying back any loans over an agreed period too.

Get in touch with us at CBASS and let’s talk about the best small business funding options for your business.

Complete Business Support Solutions


There are a few obvious places to start looking for small business or start-up grants:

Local Chamber of Commerce – In Cumbria, the Chamber also runs the Growth Hub and there are various schemes available, such as the Business Start Up Support (BSUS), National Enterprise Allowance (NEA) and the Cumbria Business Growth Hub for those businesses already trading. The main information link is here but the CBASS team would be happy to talk you through the options for your region.

Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) – The Cumbrian LEP has a great resource online with several links and options. It is well worth a look and then talk to us at CBASS if you need a sounding board before you make a commitment.

Local government business development units – Often at a District or Town Council level, your local authority might have a surprising range of business support schemes on offer, from business rate relief packages and premises subsidies to more straightforward grants and loans.

Cumbrian County Council link

Carlisle City Council link

Eden District Council link

Allerdale Borough Council link

Copeland Borough Council link

South Lakeland District Council link

Borough of Barrow in Furness link

Dumfries & Galloway link

Lancashire link   

Banks - A good place to start is the UK government backed British Business Bank start-up support link. It is also worth looking at the traditional High Street banks and the many online banks that have appeared in recent years.

Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) and Responsible Lenders - These have been created as alternative sources of loan finance for businesses. They’re usually well networked with their local business communities and keen to offer loans under attractive terms. A CDFI may be the ideal option if you anticipate being able to pay back early - they actively encourage it.

 In Cumbria, the CDFI is Enterprise Answers, based in Penrith: link

That summarises the more conventional or well-known sources of business finance. However, if you’re keen to grow in a novel direction or your idea is a complete innovation, there are investment angels, dragons, private investment funds and funded start-up partners out there too. CBASS has access to people who know who’s who and can share those connections and networks.

Complete Business Support Solutions


Once we fully understand what you and your business are about and what it is you need to get your business off the ground, we can signpost you to the relevant funding and business support schemes. CBASS gives you access to a pool of resources and knowledge that really much more of an ocean.