Project Merlin (Small Business Support)

  Portal11 09:38 AM 23 May 11

Morning all!

Does anyone of you know how and where to apply for support from this "Merlin project" for my business? in the bbc story it states the banks are lending to small businesses but if this is a scheme then where do i apply or is it simply not that easy too? i have heard about it but really struggle to find anything on the net? Thanks

Click Here

  spuds 09:59 AM 23 May 11

Like many of these 'support' schemes, they are usually part of a government sponsored or guideline enterprise. Try your local Jobcentre, local business advice centre or your own bank's customer personel adviser.

Your might find this worthy of a read

But be warned, these schemes are not as straight forward as people would like or think, especially if the banks have control of the funds.

  Portal11 10:04 AM 23 May 11

Thanks Spuds!

Ive asked the job centre they cant offer anything apart from a 20 minute business support slot which is just handouts and passing the book?

Banks ive been to mine (Halifax) they aint offering nothing unless i have a decent return coming in?

I'l have a read of the link you sent thanks once again Spuds..

  spuds 12:23 PM 23 May 11


You might find something of interest in these two links.

  Woolwell 13:19 PM 23 May 11

Business accounts for the Halifax are run by Lloyds in England. It may be worthwhile speaking to a small business advisor there. But banks will not lend unless there is a sound business plan no matter how the Government dresses it up with projects, etc.

  Portal11 14:04 PM 23 May 11

Spuds/Forum Member & Woolwell THANKYOU so much for your time and replies! Yes thats sound advice and i will deffo look into the points and the links uve posted, Thanks once again i am very greatfull


  Woolwell 14:33 PM 23 May 11

Have you got an accountant?

  spuds 15:15 PM 23 May 11

fourm member

Your third paragraph at 1:06pm might suggest that banks do not take risks (and you are 100% correct in assuming this), but with the recent collapse of the world-wide financial market, when governments were forced to bail-out some establishments, then that can sound like a gun firing a blank cartridge.

I know a very successful business person, who often states that "Never ask a bank for pennies or pounds, when you can ask for thousands". Greed is a great motivator!.

  Forum Editor 18:52 PM 23 May 11

I once had a client who seemed to be able to obtain unlimited amounts of money from banks. He seemed oblivious to the fact that he was borrowing money in order to make payments on loans he had obtained previously. This was in the 'good old days' when banks virtually pressed loans on you as soon as you walked through the door.

One day I asked him if he was worried about his level of debt. "Worried" he said "Why should I be worried? Let the people I owe the money to do the worrying"

  Blackhat 21:00 PM 23 May 11

This subject is something I am concerned about. I have a meeting planned with my business banking manager on Wednesday to discuss funding.

My order book has gone ballistic and I need investment to cope, I cannot personally raise any more funds but without some kind of support I will struggle to meet order demand.

Not a bad position to be in but cash flow right now is grinding me down. I have been factoring a lot of my account but they have reached their funding limit so I don’t get my funds when I factor an invoice any more! (Some of you will know what that means)

Very soon I will be running out of monies for stock as my factoring bank have reviewed and declined an amendment on capped accounts.

I turned over more than 1M last year at a small profit but the bank still won’t allow me an extension on my overdraft to get through short term cash flow situations like this. Let’s see what this meeting brings; I am going to push him hard.

One advantage I have is that I own more than one company and bank with different banks; he will be reminded of this frequently. My other companies combined are about a quarter the turnover of my main business though.

Just to give you an idea of what I am up against, the last few weeks my stock orders have gone from previously £2-3000 per week up to last weeks order value of £8500. Even with 30 day accounts when your customers are on the same and they all pay a week or so late but suppliers freeze your account after 3 days overdue it gets tough. Due to manufacturing a specific product I have only one supplier available to me for 70% of my stock value.

  spuds 11:53 AM 24 May 11


Many years ago, quite a number of small or even larger companies relied on 'gentlemens handshake' agreements, when most people knew who they were dealing with. Nowadays it perhaps becomes more scary in business, because the 'managements' of the business seldom invest their own funds or total commitments in their own enterprise.

A number of years ago, the then government were stressing that business's of a certain size 'were to receive' payments within a very short period from invoicing (and perhaps something that you hinted on!). This was mainly due to the 'big guys' retaining payments for months on end, so as to keep their own cash flows healthy. This idea was going to be a great life-saver for many small business enterprises, but alas, there is very little being heard about this once much talked about government initiative.

The other week I was reading about Equity Companies, and how they seemed to finance their funding arrangements and provide contracts on business settlements. It was very scary reading, and perhaps more so for those seeking short term financial help.


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