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Award Winning Sustainability Firm Secures £120k Growth Funding

A Queens Award-winning laundry efficiency specialist which helps businesses implement more eco-friendly washing systems is expanding after it secured a £120,000 funding package.

Clear Three, based on Ranton Park, Cannock, secured funding from the Community Investment Enterprise Facility (CIEF) managed by BCRS Business Loans, and backed by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

Funding will enable Clear Three to continue to innovate, strengthen and expand its consultancy services and look to diversify their technology into new markets.

Established in 2017, Clear Three encourage business owners to reduce waste, pollution and the excessive use of natural resources via a mix of consultative support and eco-friendly washing systems.

In 2021 Clear Three were awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development for their outstanding commitment to tackling environmental issues within the laundry supply chain.

Clear Three CEO Colin Oakley said:

“After securing funding from BCRS we will be able to use the fund to recruit an additional two people and secure the future of six existing members of staff.

“The investment fund will allow us to not only recruit additional roles but will enable us to branch into new markets and continue to develop new products.

“The loan application process with BCRS was very simple and straightforward. Tracy from BCRS came to meet us, took a tour around the factory and is always on the other end of the phone if we have any questions.”

Tracy Sherratt, a senior business development manager at BCRS Business Loans, said:

“We are so pleased to have delivered the funding that Clear Three need via the CIEF Loan Fund in order to achieve their growth plans.

“As a lender that delivers funding for intentional social and economic impact, it is great news that additional jobs will be created by Clear Three.”

Alastair Davis, CEO, at Social Investment Scotland, said:

“Congratulations to the team at Clear Three on securing this investment to support their growth plans. The CIEF was established with businesses like this in mind and our team wish them every success for the future.”

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) 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 (BEIS). The scheme ended on 31 March and has been replaced by the Recovery Loan Scheme.

Businesses in the West Midlands region that are struggling to access finance from traditional lenders can secure loans from £10,000 to £150,000 from BCRS Business Loans to support growth and recovery plans. BCRS is a delivery partner for the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS).

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Left to right: Colin Oakley, Graham Oakley and Tracy Sherratt

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About the British Business Bank The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government. The British Business Bank’s core programmes support nearly £8bn[1] of finance to almost 94,800 smaller businesses[2]. Since March 2020, the British Business Bank has also launched four new Coronavirus business loan schemes, delivering almost £73bn of finance to around 1.6m businesses. As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options available to smaller businesses. The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to businesses about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. In light of the coronavirus pandemic and EU Exit, the Finance Hub has expanded and it now targets a wider business audience. It continues to provide information and support for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses, but now provides increased content, information and products for businesses in survival and recovery mindsets. The Finance Hub has been redesigned and repositioned to reflect this, during this period of economic uncertainty. British Business Bank plc is a public limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. It is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. They are not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A complete legal structure chart for the group can be found at ________________________________________ [1] Figures as at end of June 2020 [2] Figures as at 28 January 2021 About BCRS Business Loans BCRS Business Loans is a co-operative business loan fund run on a non-profit distributing basis. It is owned and run by its Member Investors who elect representatives to the Board of Directors at each Annual General meeting. Established in 2002, BCRS is committed to lending to viable businesses in the West Midlands that have been unable to secure funding through mainstream lenders. As a mutual organisation its purpose is to provide access to finance to enable local businesses to grow and prosper. BCRS offers loans to businesses making a positive contribution to the social, environmental or economic wellbeing of the West Midlands. BCRS receives funding from the European Regional Development Fund and Regional Growth Fund. This Regional Growth Fund programme is provided through Responsible Finance (formally known as the Community Development Finance Association) – It provides loans to small, micro and social enterprises through the community finance sector. £30million of funding is provided by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, matched with a further £30 million by the Co-operative Bank and Unity Trust Bank. Over £12 million of this was allocated to BCRS to lend across the West Midlands. In addition, BCRS Business Loans is a delivery partner for the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) and as such is responsible for distributing the £17 million small business loan fund in the West Midlands. The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, and is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company. BCRS Business Loans also delivers a fund worth £7.5 million from the Community Investment Enterprise Fund (CIEF), which was established by social investment champion Big Society Capital and managed by Social Investment Scotland (SIS). This has been match-funded by Triodos Bank UK, one of Europe’s leading sustainable banks, to create a total fund of £15 million. Responsible Finance is the trade association for the responsible finance industry that provide finance and support to help enterprises and individuals develop and create wealth including support to disadvantaged communities. About Responsible Finance Providers BCRS is a Responsible Finance Provider. Responsible Finance Providers lend money to businesses, social enterprises, community groups, charities, and households who are unable to get finance from high street banks and loan companies. They often help deprived communities and underserved markets where market failures exist in mainstream bank lending. There are currently around 60 active Responsible Finance Providers collectively covering all regions of the UK. BCRS is a founder member of the Fair Finance Consortium of “not for profit” lenders in the West Midlands, and a Charter member of the National Trade Association – Responsible Finance. BCRS employs a staff of 17 at its HQ at Wolverhampton Science Park, WV10 9RU.

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