The Regeneration Fund, set up by UK Steel Enterprise to support start-up businesses, has seen nearly five times the number of loans approved in 2016 than in the same period last year.
The fund has backed a number of businesses so far and the support will help to create more than 30 new jobs initially.
With more than 40 years of experience in supporting businesses in steel areas, UK Steel Enterprise provides equity and loan packages of up to £1m and purpose-built managed business premises.
The Regeneration Fund was set up to provide the relatively small amounts of funding that can, nevertheless, be vital to a new or small business.
A major aim is to make the process as easy and speedy as possible to help reduce the many demands and pressures placed on new businesses.
Regional executive, Sarah Thorpe, said: “It certainly looks as though Teessiders are showing their usual entrepreneurial spirit in the wake of recent events.
“They are coming forward with business ideas that make use of the skills they have built up in their working lives, or from a hobby, and are investing in their future.
“We have been making more effort to get the word out to start-ups and small businesses that our Regeneration Fund is here to help and we are very pleased with the increase in interest.
“These may be small amounts of money compared to the investments of up to £1m we can make in larger companies but we know that they can often make a real difference at this early stage.
“Sometimes people just cannot access the few thousand pounds they need to buy vital equipment or transport for the business, rent premises or just to tide them over those early weeks.”
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