Zero Point Eight in Halesowen Road, Netherton, secured a £120,000 investment from BCRS Business Loans through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund’s Small Business Loan Fund – backed by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
Since being established five years ago, Zero Point Eight’s joinery division has built a strong reputation for designing, manufacturing and installing furniture, alongside fulfilling bespoke orders using woodworking and assembly techniques.
Directors Mark Baker and William Evans say the company now has its sights set on recovery and growth following a difficult year due to the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mark Baker said: “We are delighted to have secured MEIF funding, which will initially enable us to manufacture pre-existing joinery and furniture orders.
“We also plan to expand our interior fit-out division, which was established two years ago and is focused on providing turnkey interiors to the private residential care, NHS, education, retail, hospitality and commercial sectors, which includes manufactured furniture, ceilings, walls, mechanical, electrical and floor installations.
“With 45 full time staff at our base in Netherton, we also plan to recruit an additional two people in the coming year. Our hope is to return to pre-coronavirus turnover levels by the second quarter of 2021.”
Lynn Wyke, senior business development manager at BCRS, said: "We are so pleased to have supported Zero Point Eight, allowing the company to achieve its growth and recovery plans.
“As a lender of social and economic impact, it is excellent to see that the company not only expects its turnover to return to pre-coronavirus levels this year, but also that two additional jobs are to be created, which will be vital in helping our local communities recover too.
“We are committed to supporting businesses across the West Midlands region that are unable to secure finance from traditional lenders.”
Ryan Cartwright, senior manager at the British Business Bank, said: “It’s great to see funding from the MEIF, backed by CBILS, will be key to helping another business in the region accelerate its recovery following the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic. The fund continues to support businesses that are gearing up for growth, demonstrated here by supporting plans for expansion and the creation of new jobs – all of which will boost the local economy.”
Tom Westley, chairman of Black Country LEP, said: “We are delighted to see the MEIF supporting companies in the Black Country to recover and grow their businesses as we move beyond the Covid-19 pandemic. Economic growth and job creation are our main priorities, through supporting companies like Zero Point Eight we are helping to ensure the Black Country economy remains stable and forward focused.”
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme , which closed to new applications on March 31, was managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and industrial Strategy.
Businesses based in the West Midlands and surrounding areas can secure loans from £10,000 to £150,000 from BCRS Business Loans to support growth and recovery plans.