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Acorn Loans

What are they?

Loans for businesses unable to raise their finance from conventional sources for whatever reasons. Poor credit history will not prevent you from applying.

Who can apply?

Start-up, existing business, community and social enterprises, inward investors moving to the Hull and Humber region.

Our businesses are currently based in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, North East Lincs & North Yorkshire. However, we are happy to look at applications from further afield.

Projects must be realistic and viable. Retail businesses are not priority and may struggle to gain support. Retrospective expenditure will not normally qualify.

All applicants will need to evidence that they have approached their bank and been refused support.

How much?

We are happy to consider applications up to £200,000. An administration fee of 2% will be levied. We will always seek to lever in other funding as appropriate. There is a sliding scale of interest rates all of which are fixed from the outset of the loan. Rates will vary between 10% to 14% depending on perceived risk,

The repayment periods are linked to cash flow and can vary from 12 months to 10 years

If you are successful in obtaining a loan and wish to pay off before the end of the time, early repayment of loans is not penalised.

What for?

Loans must be for business purposes although support for vehicle purchase is not normally allowed.

Do I need security?

Where funds are used to purchase assets a legal assignment of those assets will be required, otherwise we will look to a minimum of a personal guarantee as security.

Since 2012 we have been proud to be partnered with the British Business Bank allowing us to offer loans with the backing of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme. This has allowed us to support even more businesses in circumstances where the lack of available security would prevent an otherwise viable proposition from proceeding. For more information please contact us.

British Business Bank

How do I apply?

Click here to download the application form in pdf format.

Alternatively you can phone/email the Fund Manager or his Assistant. Application forms can also be accessed from our Partners at East Riding Business Centres as detailed on the partners page

 The Fund Manager is willing to discuss your project in outline over the telephone prior to completing an application to give an indication as to whether your project meets the criteria.

A business plan and cash flow projections will be required in all cases. Advice is available to determine whether your project meets our loan criteria.

You will also need to have available:

  • A Credit Report for each applicant – this can be completed on a number of websites including and
  • 3 months personal bank statements for new start businesses .
  • 3 months business bank statements for existing businesses
  • Financial accounts for the last 3 years (if available).

Start Up Loan application forms are also available – please see the Start Up Loan page

What happens next?

Your application will be evaluated by the Fund Manager. Loans up to £10,000 will be dealt with immediately and usually within 2 working days if all information is to hand, whilst above that figure the agreement of a committee is required and will take up to 10 working days to obtain a response. The structure of any offer and its terms and conditions are entirely at the discretion of Chamber Acorn Fund (Humber) Ltd.

What else can I expect?

Where appropriate, clients will be signposted to other support agencies to help with other aspects of the business.

A standard condition of all loans is that applicants must agree to be monitored during the currency of their loan.

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